The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) requires State educational agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) to consider the rates at which low-income and minority students have access to excellent educators. This webpage contains information about these ESEA requirements, work that States and districts have done to date to address disproportionate access, and resources to support States in ensuring access to excellent educators for all students.
If you have questions about any information on this page, please contact OSS.TechnicalAssistance@ed.gov or your State contact in the Office of State Support.
Educator Equity under the Every Student Succeeds Act
ESEA, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, requires SEAs and LEAs to address whether low-income and minority students served by Title I, Part A are taught at disproportionate rates by ineffective, out-of-field, or inexperienced educators to compared to their peers. More specifically, the law requires each SEA receiving a Title I, Part A grant to describe in its ESSA State plan:
- “how low-income and minority children enrolled in schools assisted under this part are not served at disproportionate rates by ineffective, out-of-field, or inexperienced teachers,” and
- “the measures the [SEA] will use to evaluate and publicly report the progress of the [SEA]” in addressing any disproportionality. (ESEA Section 1111(g)(1)(B))
Further, the ESEA requires each LEA receiving Title I, Part A subgrant to submit plans that include a description of “how the [LEA] will identify and address . . . any disparities that result in low-income students and minority students being taught at higher rates than other students by ineffective, inexperienced, or out-of-field teachers.” (ESEA Section 1112(b)(2))
Finally, the ESEA explicitly indicates that SEAs (ESEA Section 2101(c)(4)(B)(iii)) and LEAs (ESEA Section 2103(b)(3)(B)) may use Title II, Part A funds to address identified disparities in access to excellent teachers.
ESSA incorporates many the of equitable access requirements from earlier authorizations of the ESEA. The next section of this page provides additional information about educator equity plans and requirements under the ESEA, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).
Educator Equity under the No Child Left Behind Act
Under the ESEA, as amended by the NCLB, every SEA that received a Title I, Part A grant was required to submit to the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) an educator equity plan describing the steps the SEA would take to ensure that poor and minority students were not taught at higher rates than other students by inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field teachers and the measures that each SEA would use to evaluate and publicly report its progress in closing the equity gaps identified in its educator equity plans.
The Department required States to submit educator equity plans twice under NCLB: once in 2006 and, most recently, in 2015 and as part of the Excellent Educators for All initiative.
In July 2014, the Department launched the Excellent Educators for All initiative, which was “designed to move America toward the day when every student in every public school is taught by excellent educators.” This initiative had three major components:
- Educator equity data. To support States in the development of their respective 2015 educator equity plans, the Department, in November 2014, provided to each State (i) an educator equity profile, which provided an analysis of State-specific data, and (ii) data files, which contained State-specific data from the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) and other Department-managed data sets.
- Equity Plans. The Department released Frequently Asked Questions to inform States’ submission of educator equity plans. All States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico submitted and had approved educator equity plans in 2015.
- Equitable Access Support Network. In late 2014, the Department launched the Equitable Access Support Network (EASN), a technical assistance network designed to support States in the drafting and implementation of their educator equity plans.
Each of these resources, including States’ approved 2015 educator equity plans, is available on the Department’s Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies (Title I, Part A) webpage. Learn more about technical assistance resources available to States below.
The resources below are designed to help SEAs and LEAs in the development, implementation, and continuous improvement of their respective educator equity plans. If you require any assistance accessing any of these resources (or do not see a resource responsive to your needs), please contact your State contact in the Office of State Support