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At Meeting with Secretary King, Teach Plus Teachers Present Letter Signed by Hundreds of Title I Educators on Using Title I Funding for Equity

May 10, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Seven Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellows and alumni met with U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. today to discuss appropriate use of federal funding for Title I schools.  During the meeting, the teachers presented Secretary King with a letter that underscores the importance of enforcing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provision that calls for federal Title 1 funds to supplement and not to replace state and local school funding.  The letter has been signed by 627 Title I educators from across the nation.

The negotiated rulemaking committee that met in Washington, D.C. in April to draft ESSA regulations did not reach consensus on the implementation of this supplement not supplant provision.  In response to this impasse, the educators urge in their letter that the Department of Education “issue regulatory language that honors the purpose of this provision and the intent of the law.”  If the provision is not properly enforced, the educators’ concern is that “some states could misunderstand the law's intent and use Title I for other purposes, including using it to replace state and local funding.”

“As a teacher who's worked in Title I schools throughout my career, I know first-hand how critical the resources made available through Title I funding are to my students,” said Rachel Man, a  6th grade reading/ELA teacher at Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School in Prince George’s County, MD, and a Teach Plus Fellow who met with Secretary King today.  “It is essential that available funds are targeted to the highest poverty schools like mine, so that I can provide extra help to those students that need it most.”

A recent Teach Plus poll found that the majority of the 1,139 teachers surveyed do not believe that their Title I schools are sufficiently funded to meet the educational needs of their students.  The teachers identified hiring additional classroom teachers and specialists, such as math and literacy coaches, and improving student access to computers and increasing computer literacy, as among the most-needed investments to improve student outcomes in their Title I schools.

About Teach Plus

Teach Plus empowers excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Teach Plus runs three programs designed to place teacher leaders at the center of improvements in policy and practice: Teaching Policy Fellowship, C2 Initiative, and T3 Initiative.  The programs focus on demonstrably effective teachers who want to continue classroom teaching while also expanding their impact as leaders in their schools and in district, state, and national policy.  Since its inception in August 2009, Teach Plus has grown to a network of more than 22,000 solutions-oriented teachers across the country.  www.teachplus.org