Last week I got an exciting email from Learning Forward’s President, Stephanie Hirsch. The subject of the email read, “The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies voting to reinstate Title II funding.” Lawmakers in Washington put $2.1 billion back into the federal budget and it will go to support Title II. Learning Forward is the nation’s largest nonprofit membership association focused solely on ensuring success for all students through effective professional learning and school improvement. They advocate for educators to have access to professional learning that is results-driven, standard-based, and job-embedded. I applaud them for their diligent efforts in what they do for educators and students all over the United States.
No doubt I was elated with this news. A portion of Title II monies from the federal budget is used to increase the number of high-quality effective teachers and principals, which includes ongoing professional learning for them. The above news was heralded as a huge step in keeping momentum going to improve public education across the United States. Speaking up and making a case for what is crucial to the success of the next generations, and ensuring that the education of children, and teachers, has been (and continues to be) a battle worth fighting.
Continuing to advocate for Title II is still necessary. Check in with your senators and representatives to let them know how this money supports professional learning in your school or district and why it is so important. Your outreach does have an impact. If Title II funding is excluded from the federal budget, class sizes will increase, fewer teachers will be hired, and staff development days will be cut by more than half, just in my town alone. What will the absence of these funds look like in your community? Please, keep the pressure on, engage your colleagues and your community, or become part of an existing network to maximize impact for this worthy cause. Let me know what your advocacy goals for Title II are. Educators do have a voice and we can be heard.