Funding Sources for CAST Professional Learning

The federal government supports a range of programs designed to help K-12 teachers perform at high levels. Formula and competitive grants are provided to states and local education agencies with a goal of improving teacher recruitment, training, retention, and compensation.

CAST’s Professional Learning offerings meet current funding opportunities by:

  • Helping teachers raise academic standards through UDL
  • Improving teacher effectiveness
  • Working with low-performing districts to improve teaching and student outcomes, and
  • Working with states to improve the overall quality of early learning

Federal Entitlement Programs award funds based on economic factors relating to a school’s student population, such as poverty level or percentage of students in the Free and Reduced Lunch program.

Title IA – Improving Basic Programs:

Provides funds to ensure that children in high-poverty schools meet challenging State academic content and student achievement standards.

Title I funds may be used to support professional development initiatives that help teachers prepare low-achieving students for successful participation in advanced course work, including:

  • Equipping educators with high-quality, ongoing professional development
  • Developing and retaining highly effective teachers to serve as instructional leaders

Title IIA – Improving Teacher Quality:

Provides funds to increase student academic achievement through programs and strategies that seek to improve teacher and principal performance.

Title III – English Language Acquisition:

Provides funds to improve the education of Limited English Proficient (LEP) children and youths by helping them learn English and meet challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards.

Competitive grant funds are awarded to state education agencies who then release a state competition to local education agencies.

IDEA/Special Education, Part B:

Provides funds to ensure that children with disabilities, including children aged three through five, have access to a free, appropriate public education to meet each child’s unique needs and prepare him or her for further education, employment, and independent living.

States may reserve funds for teacher professional development.

Title I – School Improvement:

School Improvement Grants (SIG), authorized under Title I or ESEA are grants to State educational agencies (SEAs).  SEAs use the grants to make competitive subgrants to local educational agencies (LEAs) that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds and the strongest commitment to use the funds to provide adequate resources in order to raise the achievement of students in their lowest-performing schools.

Rural and Low-Income School Program:

The purpose of the program is to provide financial assistance to rural districts to assist them in meeting their state’s definition of adequate yearly progress (AYP). Awards are issued annually to SEAs, which make subgrants to LEAs that meet the applicable requirements. Recipients may use program funds to conduct the following activities:

  • Teacher recruitment and retention, including the use of signing bonuses and other financial incentives
  • Teacher professional development, including programs that train teachers to use technology to improve teaching and that train teachers of students with special needs
  • Support for educational technology, including software and hardware, that meets the requirements of ESEA, Title II, Part D (Enhancing Education Through Technology; # 84.318)

Investing in Innovation Fund (i3):

The Investing in Innovation Fund, established under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), provides funding to support (1) local educational agencies (LEAs), and (2) nonprofit organizations in partnership with (a) one or more LEAs or (b) a consortium of schools. The purpose of this program is to provide competitive grants to applicants with a record of improving student achievement in order to expand the implementation of, and investment in, innovative practices that are demonstrated to have an impact on improving student achievement or student growth, closing achievement gaps, decreasing dropout rates, increasing high school graduation rates, or increasing college enrollment and completion rates.

i3 funds can be applied toward teacher professional development so long as it meets the criteria listed above (innovative practices that impact student achievement, etc.).