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Preparing, Training, and Recruiting High-Quality Teachers, Principals, and Other School Leaders

​Program Mission

To increase the academic achievement of all students by assisting schools and school districts to prepare, train, and recruit high-quality teachers, principals, and other school leaders.


To provide funds to increase student academic achievement by reducing class size and elevating teacher and principal quality through recruitment, hiring, and retention strategies.

Reimbursement/Distribution Method

The information below shows the Title IIA grant award allocation at the state level based on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):

Grant Award

  • 95% Local Education Agency (LEA) grants
    • Not more than 3% Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) activities for principals or school leaders.
  • 5% State Education Agency activities
    • No more than 1% for administration
    • 4% if the entire 1% is used for administration must be used for state activities.

Permissible state activities have expanded considerably and include teacher certification reform, evaluation, equitable access to teachers, alternative routes for certification, recruitment and retention, establishing or expanding teacher or school leader academies, appropriate data use, professional development, and others.

ESSA expands and updates LEAs’ list of activities. LEAs may carry out activities through grants or contracts with for-profit or nonprofit entities or in partnership with an institution of higher education or tribal organization.  The new “evidence-based” requirements include using local Title II, Part A funds for class-size reduction and personalized professional​ development, as well as clarifying the role of ISBE in implementing this requirement. Specifically, LEAs can only spend Title II funds on class-size reduction to a “level that is evidence-based.” Similarly “personalized professional development” (not all professional development) must be high quality and “evidence-based.” However, for both uses of funds, the evidence-based requirement is to the extent ISBE, in consultation with LEAs, determines that such evidence is reasonably available. View the Title II Allowable and Unallowable Expenditures.

ESSA changes the formula for distributing Title II, Part A funds to school districts. Under prior law, LEAs were guaranteed at least as much as they received under certain other programs in 2001 “hold harmless” provision. (If an LEA did not exist in 2001, ISBE through a series of complicated calculations determined the LEA’s minimum Title II, Part A grant.) ESSA eliminates the hold harmless in sub​granting funds to LEAs. LEAs currently generate funds based on their number of 5-17-year-olds (20%) and their number of low-income 5-17-year-olds (80%).

Population and Service Levels

All Illinois school districts are eligible to participate. Teachers in private not-for-profit elementary and secondary schools are also eligible to participate. Funds may be used to support professional development, induction and mentoring, recruiting, hiring and retaining highly qualified teachers, and to reduce the class size. In fiscal year 2018, an estimated 900 projects will be reviewed, approved, and processed.


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