Learning Forward Advocacy
Advocacy update: July 9, 2019
The Senate has not moved spending bills forward
In mid-June, the House approved on a party line vote a package of spending bills that included the fiscal year 2020 Labor HHS Education Appropriations bill, which funds all Department of Education programs including Title II-A. If enacted into law, federal education spending would see a greater than $4 billion increase over last year, including major bumps for Title I, special education and Pell Grants. And Title II-A would receive a $500 million increase, its largest increase in a decade. In response to this vote, Learning Forward issued a statement which said, in part:
"Learning Forward is immensely gratified by the House of Representatives' vote to approve a historic $500 million funding increase for Title II-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which supports professional development, mentoring, induction, and retention for America's educators. This money is critical to supporting our nation's teachers, who too often feel undervalued and under-resourced. It is poetic that this vote comes on the heels of yesterday's release by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's report that finds that 89% of U.S. teachers believe that professional learning has a positive impact on their teacher practice and that those who participate in such learning display higher levels of self-efficacy and job satisfaction."
The jubilation about this legislative victory was tempered, though, by the failure of Congress and the White House to achieve a meaningful breakthrough on setting overall spending limits. As a result, the Senate has not moved forward with any of its spending bills and some are suggesting that a year-long continuing resolution (CR) that would fund all programs at last year's levels might be the end result. If that were to occur, Title II-A's increase would disappear and it would only be funded at the current level of $2.055 billion. By the end of July, we will likely know which funding route Congress will take.
ICYMI: Capitol Hill Briefing
Learning Forward’s Capitol Hill briefing on September 27 was a great success as we shared data at the national, state, district, and school levels providing evidence that professional learning is making a positive impact on teacher practice and student outcomes.
We encourage all educators to watch the briefing and to join us in documenting and providing evidence as we ready for next year.
Evidence, evidence, evidence
Evidence of impact is not optional. From your ESSA plans to Title II to talking with your district superintendent, everyone wants to know when professional development is making an impact and how you know. Learning Forward is here to help. We invite you to join your peers from across the U.S. to share your successes here.
Tell us what Title II funds in your school or district, and most important, what outcomes you see as a result. Outcomes might include improved graduation rates or assessment scores, improvements for specific populations of students, or other indicators that students are experiencing more meaningful learning.
A New Vision For Professional Learning: A Toolkit to Help
States Use ESSA to Advance Learning and ImprovementSystems. This toolkit helps leaders leverage professional learning as
an essential tool in overcoming systemic inequities and guaranteeing
excellence for all.
Agents for Learning Toolkit: A Guide to Amplifying Teacher
Voice and Stakeholder Engagement. This toolkit suggests ways to cultivate teacher voice and agency in policy decisions and the implementation of professional learning.
Webinar series: Speak up for Title II
Learning Forward hosted a series of advocacy webinars designed to help educators build their advocacy skills. Each free webinar provides background information, the legislative status of Title II, and offers practical steps for how you can engage in this critical fight.
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What people are saying
I love the emphasis on advocacy for our field – the sample templates Learning Forward shares to communicate with state reps regarding policy, the up-to-date info about policy and legislation that could impact our field. I also really appreciate that Learning Forward is the standard-bearer for professional learning standards and provides a framework that supports calibrated understanding of quality and how to strive for it. — Rhonda