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No Educator Left Behind:
Teachers' Rights

No Educator Left Behind is a series providing answers from the U.S. Department of Education to questions about the federal No Child Left Behind Act and how it will affect educators. If you have a question about No Child Left Behind, send an e-mail to Ellen Delisio, and we will submit your question to the Department of Education.


Is there a list of teachers' rights and responsibilities?


The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act contains guarantees for both teachers and students. Students benefit from having a quality teacher in every classroom, and teachers benefit from a greater array of professional development activities and incentives than ever before.

For instance, Reading First grants are helping more than 100,000 teachers use the most effective, scientifically-proven instructional methods to help students read by grade 3 or earlier. Our Teacher-to-Teacher Training Corps and free summer regional workshops bring educators together to sharpen their instructional skills and share strategies for improving student achievement. This year many of the workshops are focused on mathematics, science, and critical foreign language skills.

In addition, eLearning and free online digital workshops allow teachers from across the country to participate. Today, all 50 states accept Teacher-to-Teacher activities for professional credit.

All told, since 2001, President Bush and Congress have provided $22 billion in federal resources to support teachers. Under the No Child Left Behind Act, states have unprecedented flexibility to use those dollars to improve teacher training and quality. The law also protects educators from litigation when they take reasonable actions to maintain order and discipline in the classroom.

Finally, let me mention two incentive programs. The President's landmark Teacher Incentive Fund contains nearly $100 million to reward teachers who make outstanding progress in raising student achievement or narrowing the achievement gap. And our popular Teacher Loan Forgiveness program now offers up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness -- previously the limit was $5,000 -- to highly qualified math, science, and special education teachers who serve in high-risk, high-poverty communities.

Nothing is more important to a child's education than a dedicated, qualified teacher. By providing new resources, professional development, and lawsuit protection, we're allowing teachers to concentrate on the job at hand.

Read previous questions and answers in our No Educator Left Behind archive.