Here are four steps you can take as Congress considers cutting teacher PD funding.
Before adjourning for summer recess, the House Appropriations Committee advanced a funding bill for the 2018 fiscal year that cuts $2.4 billion from the federal Education Department budget—with most of the loss stemming from the elimination of a major program supporting teacher training.
Under the bill, the $2 billion Title II program for teacher professional development would be eliminated, which could affect districts’ PD efforts. The House bill also cuts funding for class-size reduction and after-school programs. The president of the NEA said that, if enacted, the bill would “limit or eliminate professional development opportunities for nearly 2.5 million educators.”
The news isn’t all bad. The House bill includes a $200 million increase in special education spending, as well as a $100 million increase for the Title IV block grant (to $500 million total), which can be used to support ed tech and other programs.
- Elimination of Title II grants supporting teacher PD could discourage some districts from investing in new programs that would require extensive teacher training. Funding for existing programs may also be at risk. Here are four things you can do as an education marketer:
- Partner with your customers to find solutions. Talk with your customers and sales prospects about where they get their funding for PD and other services. Help them identify alternative funding sources to use if federal funds are cut. Consider what training services you can re-bundle or re-package to include as part of your solution. You provide online PD (webinars or self-paced) at no additional cost as part of your solution—this could be a key differentiator.
- Highlight ease of use in your marketing. If PD programs are curtailed, K-12 leaders will be looking for products and services that don’t have a steep learning curve. This is an opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition.
- Create content to show successful strategies. Generate case studies and customer testimonials to showcase innovative funding and PD solutions to help prospects see pathways to success.
- Contact your legislators. Call your senators and representatives, and encourage your customers to do the same—and tell them how important federal education funding, including support for sustained teacher training, is to the quality of our nation’s schools.
The Bottom Line
As education marketers, our commitment is to help our clients achieve their goals, regardless of what new budgetary pressures they might face. We’re happy to help you develop a smart marketing strategy to respond to these developments—just give us a call!
To read the previous Education Marketing Action Alert, click here.