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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2012

Title II, Part A: Improving Educator Quality
Fund Code: 140

Purpose: The purpose of this federal grant program is to increase student achievement through comprehensive district initiatives that focus on the preparation, training, recruitment, and retention of highly qualified educators. These initiatives should be aligned with Massachusetts' reform efforts and should help districts meet the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) goals and requirements for highly qualified teachers and instructional paraprofessionals in Title I targeted assistance and schoolwide programs, and for high-quality professional development. The goal is to improve the overall effectiveness of all educators, making those activities that focus on teacher effectiveness a high priority, but also including administrators within the district.
Priorities: After conducting needs assessments, districts may implement activities that have been based on a review of scientifically based research and address their needs in the areas of recruitment, preparation, support, and professional development, including:
  1. developing and implementing initiatives to assist in recruiting and retaining highly qualified and effective teachers, principals, and specialists in core academic subjects. Activities may include:
    1. offering monetary incentives such as scholarships, signing bonuses, or differential pay for educators in high need schools or core educator shortage areas such as mathematics, science, special education, foreign languages, and English language learners education;* and
    2. hiring highly qualified teachers - including retired teachers in accordance with Massachusetts statute - to reduce class size. Federal guidance has stated that districts can use funds only to pay teacher salaries for new teachers or teachers hired under the former federal Class-Size Reduction program who meet the highly qualified teacher requirements for class-size reduction purposes. Funds may not be used for tutors/aides or for salaries and stipends of paraprofessionals.

  2. establishing training and preparation initiatives that increase the number of highly qualified and effective teachers and administrators who are outstanding managers and instructional leaders. Activities may include:
    1. supporting aspiring administrators through approved district-based administrator preparation programs that are aligned with the Massachusetts licensure regulations;
    2. developing district-based teacher preparation programs for the Initial and Professional licenses that meet the Massachusetts licensure regulations; and
    3. recruiting and selecting qualified individuals, including paraprofessionals and parents, to participate in approved district-based preparation programs.

  3. providing high-quality professional development activities that are aligned with the federal definition and that improve the content knowledge and instructional practices of teachers, principals and, where appropriate, paraprofessionals. These activities should be a part of the district's professional development plan and aligned with the United States Department of Education (USED) approved State Plan for Professional Development. Activities may include:
    1. offering professional development activities to help teachers, administrators, and/or paraprofessionals improve pedagogy, content knowledge, their understanding of the state curriculum frameworks, and their skills in working with diverse student populations, including English language learners;
    2. developing and implementing innovative professional development programs/ activities that help teachers and administrators integrate technology into curricula and instruction to improve teaching, learning, and technology literacy;
    3. providing opportunities for teachers to meet the subject matter competency requirements in the NCLB highly qualified definition; and
    4. offering professional development for administrators as part of the larger district professional development plan.

  4. developing and implementing initiatives to promote the retention of highly qualified and effective teachers and administrators, particularly in schools with a high percentage of low-achieving students. Activities may include*:
    1. developing and implementing induction programs, including mentoring programs for teachers and administrators, that are aligned with the Massachusetts induction standards and guidelines;
    2. implementing and supporting programs and activities related to the recognition of exemplary teachers, such as district-based lead teacher programs, or supporting individuals who have gone through the National Board for Teaching Standards certification process; and
    3. providing financial incentives to retain teachers and administrators who have a record of improving the academic achievement of all students, particularly students from economically disadvantaged families, students from racial and ethnic minority groups, English language learners, students with disabilities, and students who are experiencing homelessness.
*Programs that provide teachers and principals with merit pay, pay differential, and/or monetary bonuses should be linked to measurable increases in student academic achievement produced by the efforts of that teacher or principal.


All school districts that have less than 100% Highly Qualified teachers are required to submit an updated Teacher Effectiveness and Quality Improvement Plan (TEQIP) addressing how non-Highly Qualified Teachers (HQT) will be supported in attaining HQT status. Districts that have 100% Highly Qualified Teachers are not required to submit a TEQIP.

As stipulated in our current USED approved State Plan, school districts that have less than 100% of their core academic teachers designated as highly qualified by the end of the 2007/2008 school year, or for any subsequent year, will be required to submit an updated TEQIP, and will be required to target their Title II-A funds toward achieving 100% HQT. Such districts will need to achieve at least 100% HQT before they can resume applying Title II-A funding to other eligible activities, such as class-size reduction.

The district's TEQIP and Title II-A grant application will be reviewed in tandem. Approval of a district's Title II-A grant application will be delayed until the TEQIP has been completed, submitted, and approved. Please plan accordingly, as grant project start dates will not be back-dated due to a district's delay in submitting and responding to TEQIP and Title II-A grant questions from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department).
Eligibility: Funds are awarded by formula to each school district. Subject to appropriation, districts will receive the amount they received for the 2001-2002 school year for the Eisenhower and federal Class-Size Reduction programs. Remaining funds are allocated based 20% on population (ages 5 to 17) and 80% on poverty. Census data is the source of this information.
Funding: Title II, Part A allocations will be posted on the Grants Management website when they become available.
Fund Use: A school district may use funds for training, recruiting, and retaining high-quality educators, including teachers, administrators, and paraprofessionals. Funds must supplement, and not supplant, non-federal funds that would otherwise be used for activities authorized under this subpart.
Project Duration: 9/1/2011 - 8/31/2012
Program Unit: Educator Policy, Preparation and Leadership
Contact: 781-338-3292
Required Forms: Link to FY2012 NCLB grant applications, budget workbooks, and resources
  1. Download MS EXCEL file  TII-A Grant Application - Signature Page, completed budget pages, Form 3 (which now includes Form 5 questions , Schedule A (if applicable)
  2. Form 3 (consolidated with Form 5) Equitable Participation of Students and Educators in Private Non-Profit Schools Report (Part of the above Budget Workbook).
  3. Download MS EXCEL file  Title II-A District Needs Assessment Form, including the equitable distribution of Highly Qualified Teachers, which was formerly included in the TEQIP.
Additional Information: Download PDF Document Download MS WORD document   Title II, Part A Grant Application Process User's Guide: includes detailed information about every aspect of the Highly Qualified and TIIA grant application process. It also includes additional information on:
  • Budget Detail
  • Workbook and Submission Instructions
  • USDE Non-regulatory Guidance for Title II, Part A
  • Guidance on Private School Participation
  • Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval
  • MA 2001 Professional Development Plan
  • MA Recertification Guidelines
  • Induction Program Guidelines
  • Critical Shortage Waivers
  • MA Policy Guidance for Highly Qualified Teachers and Paraprofessionals
Note: Applications submitted or approved after September 1, 2011 can legally claim expenses to the grant only from the date of final Department approval. Therefore, it is important to have district contact staff who can be reached in July and August to respond to questions in a timely manner, as needed. Please plan accordingly, as grant project start dates will not be back-dated due to a district's delay in submitting and responding to the Department's TEQIP and II-A grant questions.

Last Updated: July 20, 2011
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