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A Quality Teacher in Every Classroom

Teacher Quality in High-Poverty Schools 5


Purpose of the Program

Schools and school districts with high percentages of low-income students receive Federal assistance through Title I, Part A, formula grant funds. The funds are used to improve student performance so that students will meet State academic standards. The program includes several provisions designed to improve the quality of teachers in every school that receives Title I funds. For example school districts must spend at least five percent of their Title I, Part A funds to ensure that teachers become highly qualified no later than the end of the 2005-2006 school year. Title I schools identified as needing improvement must spend at least 10 percent of their Title I funds for high-quality professional development.

New Program Improvements and Resources

The No Child Left Behind Act that President Bush signed reauthorizes the Title I program, which will help to improve children's education by holding schools accountable for improving achievement of disadvantaged students, while a portion of these funds be focused on the improvement of teacher quality.

Last year, President Bush signed legislation that increased funding to $10.35 billion in FY-02, an increase of more than 18 percent from FY-01 levels. This year, President Bush has proposed further increasing the program by $1 billion dollars.

Highlights for States:

  • A State must submit a plan that outlines the steps it will take to ensure that:
    • Schools receiving Title I funds provide instruction by highly qualified instructional staff;
    • Poor and minority children are not taught by inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field teachers at higher rates than other students;
    • Parents and the public receive Statewide report cards that includes the percentage of teachers teaching with emergency or provisional credentials, as well as the percentage of classes not taught by highly qualified teachers.

Highlights for Schools and School Districts:

  • School districts that receive Title I funds must ensure that:
    • All teachers hired after January 8, 2002 in programs supported by Title I funds are highly qualified and all paraprofessionals have completed two years of college, received an associate’s degree, or met high standards of academic competence as demonstrated through a rigorous State assessment.
    • Parents are notified that they can receive information about the professional qualifications of their child’s teachers.
    • School districts develop plans that describe how they will coordinate Federal funds to provide professional development to teachers, principals, and other staff members at Title I schools.

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