How to Fund Professional Development for Teachers during COVID-19
Updated: Aug 17
By Katie Sandberg
California League of Schools
Director of Innovation
Budgets are frozen for many districts, yet teachers are being asked to make learning magic happen during the unprecedented tumult of COVID-19.
Teachers need guidance... on making emotional connections through remote learning so students keep showing up. On motivating students in person while also wearing masks and maintaining safe distances. And on so much more.
But how can you find the cash for vital professional development? Two ways: budget revision and new Learning Loss Mitigation Funding.
Revisit your site budget for 2020-21
Middle school principal Dr. Isaias Rumayor, Jr., suggested looking at your site’s spring budget and redirecting funds that can’t be spent due to COVID-19 to online PD.
Some examples he shared include in-person conferences that are canceled and in-person clubs and sports that won’t happen. “Take the volleyball funds and pay for things that way,” he explained.
Tap new Learning Loss Mitigation Funding
The 2020-21 California budget includes $5.3 billion in Learning Loss Mitigation Funding for local education agencies (districts and charter schools). The goal of these funds is to support TK-12 student academic achievement and reduce learning loss as a result of COVID-19 school closures.
Professional development is an allowable expense as noted on pages 36-37 of the May Revision: “Specifically, funds may be used for...providing integrated student supports to address other barriers to learning, such as...professional development opportunities to help teachers and parents support pupils in distance-learning contexts...programs to address student trauma and social-emotional learning.”
Districts and charter schools applied for these funds by August 5th. You can track the progress of your district or charter school application here: https://www3.cde.ca.gov/llmfsearch/search.aspx
By using these two sources of funds, your site will be able to invest in high-quality professional learning for your faculty and administrators.
Get free and low-cost online professional development
California League of Schools (CLS) has a range of exciting, useful online trainings to help the educators at your site excel in this difficult time:
The average participant rating for CLS professional learning experiences is 4.7 out of 5.
As Jenna Ervin, a teacher at Tahoe Valley Elementary School, said about a July training, “This is SO needed right now! Our district is going back remote for the start of the year (at least Fall term) and everything [that was] presented is so easy for teachers to get set up now to make a rigorous classroom program. I love this!!!!”
CLS also arranges custom online training for districts and sites. We would be happy to create an event or course to address your specific needs.
Give educators at your site the help they need to navigate the stresses of 2020-2021--provide access to meaningful learning from CLS!
California Department of Education: https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/cr/learningloss.asp
California Budget, May Revision, K-12 Education: http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/2020-21/pdf/Revised/BudgetSummary/K-12Education.pdf