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Professional Learning

Collaborative professional development aligned to student learning and standards that prepares, trains, and recruits high-quality teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, and other staff.

Professional learning is a product of both externally provided and job-embedded activities that increase educator knowledge and change instructional practice in ways that support student learning. In California, professional learning opportunities are provided by a variety of entities. The selection of professional learning providers is made at the local level with schools and districts determining the areas of focus based on local needs. Local educational agencies (LEAs) may use the Quality Professional Learning Standards to help them make choices about professional learning that are informed by research.

The California Department of Education (CDE) provides guidance for high quality professional learning programs and administers federal and state programs that support educator excellence and equity. There are several state and federal programs that provide funds for professional learning through allocations and competitive grants.

Below you will find information regarding California professional learning standards, guidance, and programs. Please see the CDE Becoming an Educator web page for information and resources for becoming an educator in California public schools.

Standards and Guidance

Standards and guidance to support educator excellence and equity.

Standards

Educator Professional Standards
Resources related to the performance standards for teachers, administrators, and professional learning systems that are intended to help develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to increase capacity and improve educator effectiveness.

Quality Professional Learning Standards
Quality professional learning standards identify characteristics of professional learning that are most likely to support educators in building individual and collective capacity to meet professional, school, and student performance expectations.

Local Control and Accountability Plan Addendum

Title II, Part A Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Addendum Criteria & Guidance
Criteria, guidance, and resources for LEAs to meet the provisions of the LCAP Federal Addendum Title II, Part A—Supporting Effective Instruction section.

Educator Equity: LCAP Addendum Criteria & Guidance
Criteria, guidance, and resources for LEAs to meet the provisions of the LCAP Federal Addendum Title I, Part A—Educator Equity section.

Teacher Assignment Monitoring Outcomes
Reports and data about teaching assignment monitoring outcomes disaggregated by subject area, school type, school grade span, teacher credential level, and teacher experience level.

Guidance

Curriculum Area Professional Learning
Professional learning guidance and resources organized by curriculum areas.

Educator Excellence
Information and resources regarding educator excellence aligned to the Greatness by Design report from the Educator Excellence Task Force.

Asset-Based Pedagogies
Guidance and resources for delivering instruction that focuses on the strengths diverse students bring to the classroom.

Supporting LGBTQ+ Students
Instructional guidance, law, and policies for local educational agencies to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ+) students and provide safe learning environments that protect the health and safety of LGBTQ+ students.

Professional Learning Opportunities
The CDE Professional Learning Opportunities database offers a list of in-person and online statewide professional learning opportunities sponsored by the CDE, county offices of education, local educational agencies, and institutions of higher education as well as other not-for-profit agencies.

Educator Evaluation Systems
Information for districts, the general public, and interested parties who wish to learn more about teacher and principal evaluation at the local, state, and national levels.

Peer Assistance and Review
Information for districts, the general public, and interested parties who wish to learn more about the use of the Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) process at the local, state, and national levels.

Programs and Funding

Federal and state programs that support educator excellence and equity.

Federal

Title II, Part A
Title II, Part A is a U.S. Department of Education (ED) grant program that provides supplemental funding to help support effective instruction. ED awards Title II, Part A funds to state educational agencies, which then sub-grant funds to LEAs.

Promoting Equitable Access to Teachers
Resources to assist LEAs with gathering data and reporting disproportionate access to effective, experienced, and appropriately assigned teachers by low-income and minority students.

National Certification for Teachers
The CDE actively supports teachers in their efforts to achieve advanced certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

21st Century California School Leadership Academy
The 2019–20 California State Budget authorized $13.8 million in ongoing federal funds to support providers of high-quality professional learning for administrators and other school leaders.

Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant
California received a $37.5 million dollar grant from ED, which supported the development of the State Literacy Plan and provides funding for Literacy Lead Agency grant awards to leverage and expand statewide infrastructure, guidance, and expertise to bring coherence to the system of literacy supports to improve student outcomes.

State

CA NBPTS Certification Incentive Program
This program awards grants to school districts for the purpose of providing incentives to teachers who have attained certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) and agree to teach at a high-priority school for at least five years.

California Regional Environmental Education Community Grant Program
This program provides $360,000 in regional grants from the Environmental License Plate Fund to help connect California educators to one another, professional learning opportunities, and information about high-quality resources that support increased environmental literacy levels of adults and students in kindergarten through grade twelve.

California Serves Grants
The 2022–23 California State Budget authorizes $5 million in grants to be awarded annually to selected LEAs to support service learning programs.

2024 Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program
The 2023–24 California State Budget provides $20 million to support five or more competitive Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program (BTPDP) grants to ensure that California can meet the demand for bilingual teachers necessary for the implementation of dual language and other bilingual education programs as authorized by the California Education for a Global Economy (CA Ed.G.E.) Initiative and to ensure California is able to meet the demand in preparing bilingual education teachers.

Mathematics, Science, and Computer Science Professional Learning Grant Program
The 2022–23 California State Budget allocates a $50 million grant award to a selected county office of education (COE) to lead a consortium that will provide professional learning and support family engagement in mathematics, science, and computer science for pupils in grades four through twelve, inclusive.

Literacy Coaches and Reading Specialists 2022–27
The California State Budgets for 2022–23 and 2023–24 authorize a total of $500 million for the Literacy Coaches and Reading Specialists (LCRS) Training Grant. One portion of the funding is allocated to eligible local educational agencies (LEAs) to develop school literacy programs, employ and train literacy coaches and reading and literacy specialists, and develop and implement interventions for students in need of targeted literacy support. The other portion of the funding supports the LCRS Educator Training grant, which provides funds to a selected COE to develop and provide training for educators to become literacy coaches and reading literacy specialists.

Educator Effectiveness Block Grant 2021–26
A program providing funds to county offices of education, school districts, charter schools, and state special schools to provide professional learning and to promote educator equity, quality, and effectiveness.

Antibias Education Grant Program
The 2021–22 California State Budget authorizes $10 million in grant awards to selected LEAs to prevent, address, and eliminate racism and bias in California public schools.

Reading Instruction and Intervention Grant
The 2021–22 California State Budget authorizes a $10 million grant award for a selected COE to generate and disseminate professional learning opportunities in the areas of evidenced-based literacy, intensive literacy interventions, and support of students’ executive functioning skills.

Ethnic Studies Professional Development
The 2021–22 California State Budget appropriates $5 million to establish a contract with a county office of education to provide professional development to support the expansion of ethnic studies course offerings and an online repository of resources to support ethnic studies courses.

Early Literacy Support Block Grant
The 2020–21 California State Budget appropriates $50 million to support LEAs with schools that have the highest percentage of students in grade three scoring at the lowest achievement standard level on the State Summative English Language Arts assessment. The budget appropriates an additional $3 million to establish an Expert Lead in Literacy within the California Statewide System of Support to support grantees to conduct a root cause analysis, prioritize identified needs assessment, and develop a literacy action plan to implement over three years.

Educator Workforce Investment Grant Program
The 2019–20 California State Budget established the Educator Workforce Investment Grant (EWIG) program to support competitive grants for professional learning opportunities. To date, grants have been awarded in the areas of special education, English Learner Roadmap Policy implementation, effective language acquisition, and computer science.

2018 Student Support and Academic Enrichment Competitive Grant Program
The 2018–19 California State Budget authorized $44,080,000 of Title IV, Part A Elementary and Secondary Education Act funds to be awarded through a competitive grant program to support well-rounded educational opportunities, safe and healthy students, and the effective use of technology.

Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS)
This multi-phase state funding initiative was launched in 2015 to develop resources for MTSS that align the academic, behavioral, and social-emotional supports in an LEA in order to serve the whole child.

Questions:   Professional Learning Support Division | PLSD@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-6440 
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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