Title II, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 provides $2 billion+ per year to states and districts to support effective instruction and to decrease achievement gaps. Westat recently completed the latest in a series of annual reports, State and District Use of Title II, Part A Funds in 2019-20, to summarize state and district funding priorities in this area. Westat’s Eric Isenberg, Ph.D., and Ann Webber, M.P.P, co-authored the report.
Overall, the use of funds by states and districts was quite similar to the previous year (2018-19).
About 1/2 of the states and 1/4 of the districts used flexibility provisions introduced in the latest reauthorization of ESEA. States commonly reserved funds to support principals and other school leaders, and districts transferred Title II-A funds to Title 1-A (Education for the Disadvantaged) and other programs.
The largest use of district Title II-A funds was for professional development (59% of spending), most often focused on improving instructional practice and teacher content knowledge in English language arts and in STEM subjects.
Title II-A also supported district efforts to recruit and retain effective educators (15% of spending) and to reduce class size (15% of spending).