Washington, D.C.―In a letter to Congress today, 51 State Teachers of the Year from across the nation expressed overwhelming support for continued funding for Title IIA, the Supporting Effective Instruction Grants provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The distinguished group of teachers called on Congressional leaders to provide funding to states and districts for recruiting, preparing, and supporting teachers, and ensuring students in low-income schools have equal access to great teaching.
“Great teachers help students become active citizens and leaders, which means that supporting teachers' ongoing professional growth is an investment in our country's future,” said Sydney Chaffee, 2017 National Teacher of the Year and 9th grade English and social studies teacher at Codman Academy Charter School in Boston. "I hope that Congress prioritizes this investment and commits to fund Title II."
“Investing in the learning and leadership of our nation’s teachers is the surest path to improving outcomes for students,” said Teach Plus President and CEO Roberto J. Rodríguez. “Title IIA is essential to the professional development, growth, and leadership of tens of thousands of teachers across the country. Teach Plus and our nation’s most recognized educators urge Congress to fully-fund Title II to help our teachers lead and succeed in America’s classrooms.”
In the letter, the teachers emphasize that Title IIA is a critical component of the national effort to improve student outcomes as advanced by ESSA. Title IIA funds can used by states to support teacher success in the classroom and to promote teacher leadership, such as:
- Provide opportunities for a cadre of effective teachers to lead evidence-based professional development for their peers.
- Expand career opportunities for teachers to advance in the profession and grow as leaders—such as through hybrid roles that allow teachers to serve as mentors or coaches to their peers—while remaining in the classroom.
- Provide training and support for teacher leaders and school leaders who are part of instructional leadership teams.
The letter was written by a group of State Teachers of the Year in partnership with Teach Plus as part of the Teach Plus Teacher of the Year Advisory Committee. The National Teacher of the Year program is an award program run by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching.
About Teach Plus
The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Since 2009, Teach Plus has trained thousands of teacher leaders across the country who are driving policy changes and improving the instructional practices of teachers to create an education system driven by equity, access, and excellence for all students. teachplus.org