ESSA is the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, formerly known as “No Child Left Behind”.
Page 5 states that appropriations for non-competitive programs begin on July 1, 2016.
Note: An LEA is either a school districts or a charter school.
TITLE II—PREPARING, TRAINING, AND RECRUITING HIGH-QUALITY TEACHERS, PRINCIPALS, OR OTHER SCHOOL LEADERS
SEC. 2001. PURPOSE.
The purpose of this title is to provide grants to State educational agencies and subgrants to local educational agencies to —
(1) increase student achievement consistent with the challenging State academic standards;
(2) improve the quality and effectiveness of teachers …;
(3) increase the number of teachers … who are effective in improving student academic achievement in schools; and
(4) provide low-income and minority students greater access to effective teachers ….
[page 124 & 125]
(1) IN GENERAL.—To be eligible to receive a subgrant under this section, a local educational agency shall submit an application to the State educational agency ….
(2) CONTENTS OF APPLICATION.—Each application submitted under paragraph (1) shall include the following:
(A) A description of the activities to be carried out by the local educational agency under this section and how these activities will be aligned with challenging State academic standards.
(B) A description of … opportunities for building the capacity of teachers …
(D) A description of how the local educational agency will use data and ongoing consultation described in paragraph (3) to continually update and improve activities supported under this part.
(E) An assurance that the local educational agency will comply with section 8501 (regarding participation by private school children and teachers).
(F) An assurance that the local educational agency will coordinate professional development activities authorized under this part with professional development activities provided through other Federal, State, and local programs.
(3) CONSULTATION.—In developing the application described in paragraph (2), a local educational agency shall—
(A) meaningfully consult with TEACHERS [MY CAPS], …, community partners, and other organizations or partners with relevant and demonstrated expertise in programs and activities designed to meet the purpose of this title;
(B) seek advice from the individuals and organizations described in subparagraph (A) regarding how best to improve the local educational agency’s activities to meet the purpose of this title; and
(C) coordinate the local educational agency’s activities under this part with other related strategies, programs, and activities being conducted in the community.
[A long list of suggested uses of Title II funds is on page 125 to 129. Professional development predominates, including in STEM. Also suggested uses are to reduce class size, “differential and incentive pay for teachers … in high-need academic subject areas”, and more. Here are relevant excerpts for science teachers.]
SEC. 2103. LOCAL USES OF FUNDS.
(a) IN GENERAL.—A local educational agency that receives a subgrant under section 2102 shall use the funds made available through the subgrant to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive programs and activities described in subsection (b), which may be carried out—
(1) through a grant or contract with a for-profit or non-profit entity; or
(2) in partnership with an institution of higher education …
(b) TYPES OF ACTIVITIES.—The programs and activities described in this subsection—
(1) shall be in accordance with the purpose of this title;
(2) shall address the learning needs of all students, including children with disabilities, English learners, and gifted and talented students; and
(3) may include, among other programs and activities—
(A) developing or improving a rigorous, transparent, and fair evaluation and support system for teachers, principals, or other school leaders that—
(i) is based in part on evidence of student achievement, which may include student growth; and
(ii) shall include multiple measures of educator performance and provide clear, timely, and useful feedback to teachers, principals, or other school leaders;
(B) developing and implementing initiatives to assist in recruiting, hiring, and retaining effective teachers, particularly in low-income schools with high percentages of ineffective teachers and high percentages of students who do not meet the challenging State academic standards, to improve within-district equity in the distribution of teachers, consistent with section 1111(g)(1)(B), such as initiatives that provide—
(i) expert help in screening candidates and enabling early hiring;
(ii) differential and incentive pay for teachers … in high-need academic subject areas and specialty areas, which may include performance-based pay systems;
(iii) teacher … advancement and professional growth, and an emphasis on leadership opportunities, multiple career paths, and pay differentiation;
(iv) new teacher, principal, or other school leader induction and mentoring programs …
(D) reducing class size to a level that is evidence- based, to the extent the State (in consultation with local educational agencies in the State) determines that such evidence is reasonably available, to improve student achievement through the recruiting and hiring of additional effective teachers;
(E) providing high-quality, personalized professional development that is evidence-based, to the extent the State (in consultation with local educational agencies in the State) determines that such evidence is reasonably available, for teachers …, that is focused on improving teaching and student learning and achievement …
(H) providing training, technical assistance, and capacity-building in local educational agencies to assist teachers … with selecting and implementing formative assessments, designing classroom-based assessments, and using data from such assessments to improve instruction and student academic achievement, which may include providing additional time for teachers to review student data and respond, as appropriate;
(M) developing and providing professional development and other comprehensive systems of support for teachers … to promote high-quality instruction and instructional leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics subjects, including computer science;
(N) developing feedback mechanisms to improve school working conditions, including through periodically and publicly reporting results of educator support and working conditions feedback;
(O) providing high-quality professional development for teachers … on effective strategies to integrate rigorous academic content, career and technical education, and work-based learning (if appropriate), which may include providing common planning time, to help prepare students for postsecondary education and the workforce …
TITLE VIII—GENERAL PROVISIONS (page 287 to 290, 298)
(A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the term ‘evidence-based’, when used with respect to a State, local educational agency, or school activity, means an activity, strategy, or intervention that—
(i) demonstrates a statistically significant effect on improving student outcomes or other relevant outcomes based on—
(I) strong evidence from at least 1 well-designed and well-implemented experimental study;
(II) moderate evidence from at least 1 well-designed and well-implemented quasi-experimental study; or
(III) promising evidence from at least 1 well-designed and well-implemented correlational study with statistical controls for selection bias; or
(ii)(I) demonstrates a rationale based on high-quality research findings or positive evaluation that such activity, strategy, or intervention is likely to improve student outcomes or other relevant outcomes; and
(II) includes ongoing efforts to examine the effects of such activity, strategy, or intervention.
(42) PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.—The term ‘professional development’ means activities that—
(A) are an integral part of school and local educational agency strategies for providing educators (including teachers, principals, other school leaders, specialized instructional support personnel, paraprofessionals, and, as applicable, early childhood educators) with the knowledge and skills necessary to enable students to succeed in a well-rounded education and to meet the challenging State academic standards; and
(B) are sustained (not stand-alone, 1-day, or short term workshops), intensive, collaborative, job-embedded, data-driven, and classroom-focused, and may include activities that—
(i) improve and increase teachers’—
(I) knowledge of the academic subjects the teachers teach;
(II) understanding of how students learn; and
(III) ability to analyze student work and achievement from multiple sources, including how to adjust instructional strategies, assessments, and materials based on such analysis;
(ii) are an integral part of broad schoolwide and districtwide educational improvement plans;
(iii) allow personalized plans for each educator to address the educator’s specific needs identified in observation or other feedback;
(iv) improve classroom management skills;
(v) support the recruitment, hiring, and training of effective teachers, including teachers who became certified through State and local alternative routes to certification;
(vi) advance teacher understanding of—
(I) effective instructional strategies that are evidence-based; and
(II) strategies for improving student academic achievement or substantially increasing the knowledge and teaching skills of teachers;
(vii) are aligned with, and directly related to, academic goals of the school or local educational agency;
(viii) are developed with extensive participation of teachers, principals, other school leaders, parents, representatives of Indian tribes (as applicable), and administrators of schools to be served under this Act;
(ix) are designed to give teachers of English learners, and other teachers and instructional staff, the knowledge and skills to provide instruction and appropriate language and academic support services to those children, including the appropriate use of curricula and assessments;
(x) to the extent appropriate, provide training for teachers, principals, and other school leaders in the use of technology (including education about the harms of copyright piracy), so that technology and technology applications are effectively used in the classroom to improve teaching and learning in the curricula and academic subjects in which the teachers teach;
(xi) as a whole, are regularly evaluated for their impact on increased teacher effectiveness and improved student academic achievement, with the findings of the evaluations used to improve the quality of professional development;
(xii) are designed to give teachers of children with disabilities or children with developmental delays, and other teachers and instructional staff, the knowledge and skills to provide instruction and academic support services, to those children, including positive behavioral interventions and supports, multi-tier system of supports, and use of accommodations;
(xiii) include instruction in the use of data and assessments to inform and instruct classroom practice;
(xiv) include instruction in ways that teachers, principals, other school leaders, specialized instructional support personnel, and school administrators may work more effectively with parents and families;
(xv) involve the forming of partnerships with institutions of higher education, including, as applicable, Tribal Colleges and Universities as defined in section 316(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1059c(b)), to establish school-based teacher, principal, and other school leader training programs that provide prospective teachers, novice teachers, principals, and other school leaders with an opportunity to work under the guidance of experienced teachers, principals, other school leaders, and faculty of such institutions;
(xvi) create programs to enable paraprofessionals (assisting teachers employed by a local educational agency receiving assistance under part A of title I) to obtain the education necessary for those paraprofessionals to become certified and licensed teachers;
(xvii) provide follow-up training to teachers who have participated in activities described in this paragraph that are designed to ensure that the knowledge and skills learned by the teachers are implemented in the classroom; and
(50) TECHNOLOGY.—The term ‘technology’ means modern information, computer and communication technology products, services, or tools, including, the Internet and other communications networks, computer devices and other computer and communications hardware, software applications, data systems, and other electronic content (including multimedia content) and data storage