The U. S. Department of Education just released a press release announcing the first grant competition under the Teacher and School Leader (TSL) program. TSL aims to provide funding for states, districts, and nonprofit organizations to support, train, and reward excellent teachers and school leaders. TSL is authorized under the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaced the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), passed by the Bush administration. Unlike NCLB, which placed a strong emphasis on teacher performance and standardized testing, ESSA is aiming to take a new approach to equal opportunity learning.
“This program will build on districts’ efforts underway to develop and reward talented educators and school leaders, and will provide educators new opportunities to contribute to their schools,” said Nadya Chinoy Dabby, assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement. “Ensuring that our schools are dynamic, rigorous, and caring learning environments requires supporting our educators so they can do their very best.”
The U.S. Department of Education Press Release claims that:
These grants will allow educators and school leaders to identify opportunities to improve their schools; create professional development and support systems that are tailored to educators’ individual needs; and help districts and schools attract and retain a diverse, effective workforce.
Applications for the FY 2017 TSL competition will open tomorrow, Dec. 20, 2016, and are due on March 24, 2017. President Obama requested $250 million under the FY 2017 budget request. This funding, however, is dependent upon future Congressional appropriations.
Which can’t help lead me to question if any of this funding will get approved during Trump’s presidency? Or is this all going to be scratched from the record the day that Trump pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos deems that charter schools are the answer, and that the private sector can save our students?