The purpose of Title II is to:

  • Increase student achievement consistent with the challenging state academic standards
  • Improve the quality and effectiveness of teachers, principals, and other school leaders
  • Increase the number of teachers, principals, and other school leaders who are effective in improving student academic achievement in schools
  • Provide low-income and minority students greater access to effective teachers, principals, and other school leaders

Title II requires districts to “meaningfully consult” with teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, charter school leaders, parents etc., when developing an application for the use of Title II funds for state approval.

ESSA eliminates the minimum Title II award amount that the past law guaranteed to each state.

There are four major changes to Title II:

  1. Changes the formula funding to weigh poverty over population
  2. Removes the requirement for a teacher evaluation system
  3. Eliminates the requirement for teachers to be highly qualified
  4. Allows states to blend Title II Part A funds with other ESSA funds (e.g., Title III, Title IV)

For principals, Title II funding can bring needed resources to recruit, train, and retain teachers as well as provide ongoing professional learning opportunities in Title I schools. To help principals understand new requirements and opportunities provided by Title II, this fact sheet provides basic information about the funding and its major provisions. It also highlights opportunities for you to engage with your district and state to ensure the use of Title II funds reflect the priorities you deem critical to providing a quality education in your school. NASSP also provides a comprehensive summary of ESSA here.

FUNDING. Title II: Part A – Supporting Effective Instruction

ESSA provides a gradual phase in of a new formula, weighing population less and poverty more from Fiscal Year 2017 through 2023. The new formula means some states will see an increase in Title II funding each year while others will see a decrease.

  • 35/65 in FY 2017
  • 30/70 in FY 2018
  • 25/75 in FY 2019
  • 20/80 in FY 2020 and succeeding years

States have been given a great deal of flexibility to define the term “challenging” as it relates to their state-defined standards. In fact, the Department of Education cannot “require” states to use certain standards. However, a state can choose to use the Common Core standards.

FUNDING. Authorization of Appropriations

PART A: Supporting Effective InstructionFY 2017–FY 2020$2.295B
PART B: National ActivitiesFY 2017–FY 2018$468M
PART B: National ActivitiesFY 2019$469M
PART B: National ActivitiesFY 2020$489M

States can reserve no more than 5 percent of Title II Part A funds for state activities (with a limit of 1 percent for administration) and must provide 95 percent of Part A funds to districts.

NEW! States may reserve up to 3 percent of the amount for district subgrants for state-level principal and school leader support. Some states (e.g., Washington) have already committed to using the 3 percent specifically for activities to support principals.



  • The system of certification and licensing of teachers, principals, or other school leaders
  • How activities are aligned with challenging state standards and will improve student achievement
  • How data will be used
  • How it will encourage increased autonomy and flexibility of teachers/principals
  • Action(s) it will take to improve teacher preparation programs
  • How it will ensure monitoring of the implementation of activities and provide technical assistance to districts

In addition:

  • IF the state plans to use funds to improve equitable access to effective teachers, then they must provide a description of the plan
  • IF the state plans to use funds to work with the district to develop and implement an evaluation


  • The activities to be carried out and how they are aligned with challenging state standards
  • The system of professional growth and improvement (e.g., teacher induction; building the capacity of teachers, principals/other school leaders, etc.)
  • How the district will prioritize funds to schools implementing Comprehensive Support and Improvement and Targeted Support and Improvement activities
  • How the district will use data and ongoing consultation to update and improve activities
  • How the district will ensure the coordination of professional development activities provided through other federal, state, and local programs

Due to NASSP’s advocacy efforts, ESSA includes a definition of school leader” to mean a principal, assistant principal, or other individual who is “an employee or officer of an elementary school or secondary school, local educational agency, or other entity operating an elementary or secondary school; and responsible for the daily instructional leadership and managerial operations in the elementary school or secondary school building.”

Note: Other requirements may apply depending on how states and districts identify the use of funds. ESSA provides 16 allowable uses of state funds and 21 allowable uses of district funds. In September 2016, the U.S. Department of Education issued nonregulatory guidance on Title II to guide decision making for states and districts. View guidance here.


  • Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program
  • Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation
  • American History and Civics Education
  • Supporting Effective Educator Development
  • School Leader Recruitment and Support
  • Technical assistance
  • STEM Master Teacher Corps

The School Leader Recruitment and Support program allows the secretary of education to offer competitive grants to states to improve the recruitment, preparation, placement, support, and retention of effective principals or other school leaders in high-need schools.


  • Engage now with your district in discussions about the recruitment, professional development, quality, and access of all students to effective teachers. All districts are required to include school principals in developing the priorities for Title II planning.  
  • Collaborate and work with other principals in your district and state to influence the state Title II planning. Because ESSA eliminates the Title II Part A minimum grant award to each state, it relies on a new funding formula and creates new funding flexibility among Titles II, III, and IV. As such, principals must work together so district and state leaders become aware of your priorities. The new 3 percent set-aside for principal and school leader support provides a tremendous opportunity to influence state policy and planning.  
  • Use the model legislation to create new state policy. The legislation can be tailored to directly support principals and school leaders in your state.
  • Make the case for increased Title II funding. Members of the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate must hear from principals why increased Title II funds are critical to the recruitment, professional learning, capacity-building, and other important needs of principals and the school teams you lead to ensure the academic success of your students. 
  • Share any good news with your local media. If you have good news to tell or believe your community, city, or state media can highlight the work and success of your teachers and students, read the ESSA Communication Kit for tips, tools, and resources on how to raise the visibility of your school via social media as well as traditional outlets.