Professional Development Funding
The No Child Left Behind Act,
signed into law in 2002, put many provisions in place to increase
student performance and enhance teacher quality in core subject
areas, including science. The Act requires all teachers of
science to be designated as "highly qualified" in their fields
and has altered the manner in which teachers may take advantage
of professional development opportunities to increase their
knowledge and skills. Teachers and administrators should also
keep in mind that science is tested in grades 5, 8, 9, 10,
and 11 as part of the state's STAR testing program and is
included in the district's API scores.
It's important to note that NCLB monies can
be used to fund your participation in the California Science
Education Conference. Click
here for funding plans, templates, and sample letters.
Several provisions of the act specify the funding available
for teacher professional development.
- Title I, Part A, of the act requires
school districts to use at least five percent of their Title
I funds for professional development activities to ensure
that teachers who are not currently certified as highly
qualified meet that standard. Schools identified as not
having met their adequate yearly progress (AYP) goals must
spend ten percent of their Title I, Part A funds on teacher
- Title II, Part A, of the act provides
funding for professional development in subject matter knowledge,
improving teaching skills, assisting teachers to use the
state content standards, and assessment. All of these activities
are available to teachers at the California Science Education
Conference, presented in a cohesive, coherent strand specifically
designed to qualify for Title II funding.* Teachers participating
in the No Child Left Behind/Title
II Professional Development Strand receive the kind
of knowledge and skills defined in the act and can earn
university professional development credit as well. Click
here to read Superintendent
Jack O'Connell's letter to this effect.)
- Districts which have applied for and been awarded state
Title II, Part B, Math and Science Partnership grants
may have additional professional development funds for teachers.
Check with your district's NCLB coordinator to find out
the availability of MSP funds.
- Attendance at technology sessions at the conference can
be paid for with Title II, Part D monies,
and attendance at sessions addressing the needs of EL and
immigrant students can be paid for with Title III
- Additionally, your district may have other grants, such
as NSF-funded programs, which provide funds
for professional development. Check with your district's
curriculum and instruction or professional development coordinator.
- BTSA (Beginning Teachers Support and
Assessment) programs may have funds for new teachers' professional
development. Check with your district's or county's BTSA
- Other possible sources of funding: School Site
Council (SIP), PTA, school
foundation funds, site funds.
Whatever funds are available in your district for professional
development, you must plan early and ask often.
Tips for Conference Funding
- Research what the conference has to offer. All of the
conference sessions are listed in our database, searchable
by day, science topic, grade level and more (beginning in
- Highlight the sessions that will be of most value to you
and put together your personal
professional development plan by using the search feature
to find the sessions that best meet your needs.
- Armed with the conference schedule and your personal
plan, approach your administrator for funding. Know what
the conference costs really are and how much you are willing
to pay for yourself, especially if it requires travel to
another location. This shows that you’ve researched the
benefits to yourself and your students, and indicates your
sincerity and intentions for attending the conference.
- Stress the importance of science in your school's and
- Mention that university credit is available for attendance.
Plan now to attend the 2013 California
Science Education Conference. Don't wait until the 13-14
school year. Talk to your administator today to make sure
that science professional development funds for attending
the conference are included in your LEA plan.
More information on the No
Child Left Behind act.
*The U.S. Department of Education has indicated that
Title II, Part A, funds may be used to pay the costs associated
with having teachers attend one-day or short-term workshops
or conferences if they are part of, and integral to, professional
development activities that meet the other requirements
of the law, and if the participation in such a professional
development activity is used to reinforce or lay the groundwork
as part of a larger, systemic, professional development
plan. [Improving Teacher Quality State Grants, Title II,
Part A, Non-regulatory Guidance, USDOE, December 2002.]