May 7, 2024

To: The Honorable Tammy Baldwin, Chairwoman, Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education & Related Agencies, U.S Senate; The Honorable Shelley Moore Capito, Ranking Member, Appropriations, Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education & Related Agencies, U.S. Senate; The Honorable Robert Aderholt, Chairman, Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education & Related Agencies, U.S. House of Representatives; The Honorable Rosa DeLauro, Ranking Member, Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education & Related Agencies, U.S. House of Representatives


Dear Chairwoman Baldwin, Ranking Member Capito, Chairman Aderholt, and Ranking Member DeLauro:

Our country’s national teacher and school leader shortage crisis is accelerating. Educators are increasingly leaving the profession, while the number of new educators entering is waning. A critical way to combat this recruitment and retention crisis is by supporting targeted, effective, and long-term professional development for teachers, principals, and other school leaders by investing in Title II, Part A, the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The undersigned national and state education organizations urge you to invest in educators and their students by providing $2.4 billion, a much needed 10% increase, for Title II, Part A, in FY 2025 appropriations without cutting other education programs.

Recent research confirms the educator turnover crisis continues to accelerate. A 2023 RAND study found that “Teacher turnover increased 4 percentage points above pre pandemic levels, reaching 10 percent nationally at the end of the 2021–2022 school year. Principal turnover is also following this trend, more than doubling to 16% by the end of the 2021–22 school year according to the RAND study, with roughly 19,000 more school leaders leaving than the previous year. Departure rates were even greater for high poverty (23%) and rural districts (32%).

At the same time, the infusion of new teachers and school leaders is at an all-time low. A 2022 paper from Brown University found that “The number of new entrants into teaching has decreased by one-third over the past decade, with the number of newly licensed teachers dropping from 320,000 in 2006 to 215,000 in 2020.” This dramatic decrease in educators in the pipeline, combined with the large numbers of educators leaving the profession, suggests that an even greater educator shortage is coming.

Investments in Title II-A are an essential component of the strategies to address these troubling trends. The program is designed to bolster infrastructure districts rely on to recruit high-quality educators and provide them with job-embedded practice, mentoring, and coaching opportunities that sustain them in their careers. Recent research shows such support leads to a higher rate of retention, which is critical to addressing educator shortages. An important 2019 study found high-quality professional learning and teacher retention are strongly correlated: on average, teachers with no professional development in a school year showed only a 60% chance of retention, while teachers with over 20 hours of professional development demonstrated an 85% chance of retention.

A 2023 U.S. Department of Education report on Title II-A, analyzing data from the 2021-22 school year, found that “Seventy-five percent of districts reported funding professional development for teachers, and 56 percent of districts reported funding professional development for principals and other school leaders.” The report also showed that the areas of largest spending by school districts relative to principal professional development included: “strategies and practices to help teachers improve instruction (83 percent), school improvement planning or identifying interventions to support academic improvement strategies (68 percent), and strategies and practices to advance organizational development (56 percent). Finally, the report found that half of all states were utilizing the optional 3% state set aside to provide support to principals and school leaders.

It is clear that the effective pedagogical practices funded by Title II-A are paying significant dividends. A 2018 meta-analysis examined 60 rigorous studies of coaching, a high quality professional learning practice, and found large positive effects of coaching on teachers’ instructional practices. Across 43 studies, researchers found that coaching accelerates the growth that typically occurs as one moves from novice to veteran status. Additionally, multiple researchers have documented that teachers who collaborate in professional learning communities (PLCs) to continuously improve their practice and their students’ learning experiences have a measurable positive impact in schools.

In addition to supporting teachers, Title II-A is one of the only federal programs that also helps ensure principals are well-prepared and more likely to stay in the profession. This investment in principals is critical because as a 2017 review of 18 studies meeting ESSA’s Tiers I-III evidence standards concluded, “School leadership can be a powerful driver of improved education outcomes.” That research confirms earlier studies concluding that principals are second only to teachers as the most important school-level determinant of student achievement. A March 2021 Wallace Foundation paper stated that a “review of two decades of evidence – including six quantitative, longitudinal studies involving 22,000 principals – found that ‘principals have large effects on student learning, comparable even to the effects of individual teachers.’” Additional research also suggests that schools led by high-quality principals have lower teacher turnover rates.

At its core, Title II-A is a critical support for the growth and development of educators’ instructional practice to improve their teaching and ultimately boost student learning. Unfortunately, the program remains severely underfunded and demand for services provided by it has only increased. A larger investment in Title II-A will help accelerate student learning, provide support through professional learning to keep educators in the profession, recruit new individuals into the educator workforce, and bolster school leaders.

Thank you for your consideration of our request and your continued work to support educators and students.



AACTE: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

AASA, The School Superintendents Association



American Federation of School Administrators

American Psychological Association

Association of Educational Service Agencies

Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO)

Coalition for Community Schools

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)

Council of Administrators of Special Education

EDGE Consulting Partners

The Education Trust


Higher Education Consortium for Special Education (HECSE)

Institute for Educational Leadership

Joint National Coalition for Languages

Learning Forward


National Association for Music Education

National Association of Elementary School Principals

National Association of Secondary School Principals

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

National Center for Learning Disabilities

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

National PTA

National Rural Education Association

National Rural Education Association Consortium

National School Boards Association

National Science Teaching Association

New Leaders

PDK International/Educators Rising


Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children (TED)


Administrators Association of Chula Vista (CA)

Administrators Association of San Diego City Schools (CA)

Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals

Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals

Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals

Alaska Council of School Administrators

Arkansas Association of Secondary School Principals

Association of California School Administrators

Association of Washington School Principals

Association of Wisconsin School Administrators

California Federation of School Administrators

California School Boards Association

Colorado Association of Elementary School Principals

Colorado Association of Secondary School Principals

Connecticut Association of Schools

Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools

Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (NY)

Delaware Association of School Principals

Delaware Association of School Administrators

East Haddam Administrators (CT)

Educational Administrators Association of Wallingford (CT)

Florida Association of School Administrators

Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals (GAESP)

Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals (GASSP)

Gilbert Administrators Association (CT)

Hawaii Association of Secondary School Administrators

Hawaii Elementary and Middle Schools Administrators Association

Howard County Association of Supervisors and Administrators (MD)

Idaho Association of School Administrators

Illinois Principals Association

Indiana Association of School Principals

Kansas Principals Association

Learning Forward CT

Learning Forward Florida

Learning Forward Missouri

Learning Forward Pennsylvania

Learning Forward Tennessee

Learning Forward Texas

Learning Forward Virginia

Louisiana Association of Principals

Maine Principals’ Association

Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals

Massachusetts School Administrators Association

Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association (MEMSPA)

Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals

Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals

Montana Association of Secondary School Principals

Nebraska Association of Elementary School Principals

Nebraska State Association of Secondary School Principals

Nevada Association of School Administrators

New Mexico Association of Secondary School Principals

NJ Principals and Supervisors Association

North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals Association

North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders

The Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators

Oklahoma Association of Elementary School Principals

Pennsylvania Principals Association

Region 16 Administrators’ Association (CT)

Rhode Island Association of School Principals

Rural Schools Association of NY

School Administrators Association of New Haven (CT)

School Administrators Association of New York State

School Administrators of Montana

Special School District of St. Louis County Administrators Association (MO)

Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP)

Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA)

Torrington Public School Administrators Association (CT)

Vermont Principals’ Association

Wyoming Association of Secondary School Principals