July 09, 2015

Gillibrand And Portman Lead Bipartisan Push To Protect Federal Funds For Teacher Training With New Amendment To Prevent Cuts To Schools Across The Country

Proposed Elementary and Secondary Education Bill Would Gut Professional Development Funds for 18 States Without Fix, New York Stands to Lose More Than $200 Million Over Seven Years and an Additional $60 Million Each Year Thereafter - More Than Any Other State in the Nation

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rob Portman (R-OH) today introduced a new amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act, the elementary and secondary education reauthorization bill that would dramatically reduce the federal funds allocated to 14 states for teacher and principal professional development. The amendment corrects the formula used to distribute funding for professional development, known as Title II-A, to ensure states receive the investment they need. Without the Gillibrand-Portman amendment, 18 states will see a cut to their Title II-A funding. New York stands to lose more than $200 million in professional development funds over the next seven years and an additional $60 million each year thereafter – more than any other state in the country. Ohio is estimated to lose more than $30 million over the next seven years and an additional $8.6 million each year thereafter, which is 10 percent of Ohio’s total Title II-A funds.

“Our children will not achieve if our teachers and principals are not given the opportunity to grow,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The new funding proposal penalizes my state and others like it at a time when we have the opportunity to invest in our schools. We have to correct this formula to prevent the harm to New York and other states that will lose the resources they rely on.”

“High-quality teachers and school administrators play a central role in helping our students prepare for the future,” said Senator Portman. “This amendment will help ensure that Ohio is not unfairly targeted and will preserve the resources critical to enhancing professional development – funds that will improve Ohio schools and invest in students’ success.”

The Every Child Achieves Act changes how Title II-A funds are divided among states. Instead of increasing the total funding available for professional development, the bill holds funding levels and uses the new formula to boost appropriations to some states at the expense of others. Of the 18 states where Title-II A funds would be reduced, 14 states, as well as Puerto Rico, would lose 10 percent or more of their federal professional development dollars: Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The Gillibrand-Portman amendment maintains the Hold Harmless provision that exists in the current law to prevent cuts. If the overall amount of Title II-A funding increases, states that currently receive less funding would see a greater percentage of that increase.