Maximizing the Use of New State Professional Learning Investments to Support Student, Educator, and School System Growth

Maximizing the Use of New State Professional Learning Investments to Support Student, Educator, and School System Growth cover
January 21, 2016
Joseph Bishop
Linda Darling-Hammond
Ann Jaquith

The Learning Policy Institute (LPI) and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) introduce two documents to help California schools best utilize professional learning money to support learning around the newly adopted state academic standards.


Thanks to an unexpected surplus this year in the State General Fund, California’s Pre-K-12 teachers and administrators have an additional $490 million to spend on programs supporting professional development. The $490 million represents one of the largest investments in professional development and teacher effectiveness ever made by California and has the potential to improve every classroom in the state.

 The two guidance documents are designed to help districts think through strategies to support all four allowable uses of funds, while focusing on ways districts can approach professional learning to implement the new state academic standards.

The Executive Summary
Describes the state program and provides an overview of information available in the Guidance Document. 

The Guidance Document
Developing a system of professional learning requires contributions from all key decision makers involved in aligning people, time, and resources needed for the continuous improvement of school systems. Divided into three sections, this guidance document has been crafted with a particular eye towards bridging professional learning with approaches for implementing the state academic standards, NGSS, and imminent Science and History/Social Studies frameworks. 

It covers:

  • Strategies for supporting professional learning.
  • Key professional learning resources for districts.
  • Developing LCAPs (Local Control Accountability Plans) aligned with district professional learning strategies. 

Three appendices describe effective elements of professional learning, district examples of effective professional learning for principals, and an overview of California's Quality Professional Learning Standards with example of district application.

 The state guidance document and executive summary were published by the Consortium for the Implementation of the Common Core State Standards and made possible through the support of the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, and the Silver Giving Foundation.