Funding Professional Development with Title II Funds

With passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), funding has been established under Title II, Part A, the Improving Teacher Quality State Grants program, to provide training necessary to meet the requirement that all schools provide "highly qualified" teachers. In general, a "highly qualified teacher" is a teacher with full certification, a bachelor's degree, and demonstrated competence in subject knowledge and teaching skills as determined by each state.

Can GEMS Professional Development be funded by Title II?

Yes. All professional development offered by the Lawrence Hall of Science is strongly tied to specific strands in both national and state curriculum standards. When used in conjunction with appropriate ongoing professional development GEMS can provide specific domain knowledge and instructional methods. Participation in these programs can help districts to meet the NCLB requirement of having highly qualified teachers by the end of the 2005-2006 school year.

To do so, the district’s local improvement plan must incorporate participation in GEMS workshops as part of their overall professional development program. Participation must be proactively incorporated into the school district’s written professional development program. There is a deadline for doing so each year. (In California, the deadline is June 1.) If you do not incorporate the program into the district plan and submit the plan to the state by the annual deadline then you will not be able to apply for Title II funds until the following year. The deadline for your district can be determined by contacting your State Department of Education. It is a requirement of NCLB that teachers participate in the development of the local improvement plan.

Is there specific language that my district should use in its application to the state?

Your district’s local improvement plan should include language that makes clear that your participation is part of a more extensive overall professional development program, including mentoring and other training, as appropriate. It should be stated that GEMS programs are focused on student learning, and based on research-validated and scientifically-based teaching practices.

Where can I learn more?

To find out about the specific process used in your district for incorporating a professional development workshop into your district’s local improvement plan, contact your district directly.

For comprehensive and up-to-date information on the requirements of Title II of NCLB, see the US Department of Education’s web site at

Additional links on the implications of NCLB can be found at

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