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Professional Development Funding

Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards Implementation monies are available for teacher professional development. For more information

click here.

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 professional development.
  • 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 monies.
  • 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 coordinator.
  • 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.
  • 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 district's mission.
  • 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.]