The term “high need local educational agency” as defined in section 201 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1021), means a district that serves an elementary or secondary school that meets one or more of the following criteria
- a high percentage of individuals from families with incomes below the poverty line;
- a high percentage of secondary school teachers not teaching in the content area in which the teachers were trained to teach; or
- a high teacher turnover rate
The Ithaca College Robert Noyce Teaching Scholarship Program operationalizes these definitions as follows:
- It has at least one school in which 50 percent or more of the enrolled students are eligible for participation in the free and reduced price lunch program established by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C.1751 et seq.).
- It has at least one school in which: (i) more than 34 percent of the academic classroom teachers at the secondary level (across all academic subjects) do not have an undergraduate degree with a major or minor in, or a graduate degree in, the academic field in which they teach the largest percentage of their classes; or (ii) more than 34 percent of the teachers in two of the academic departments do not have an undergraduate degree with a major or minor in, or a graduate degree in, the academic field in which they teach the largest percentage of their classes.
- It has at least one school whose teacher attrition rate has been 15 percent or more over the last three school years.
The US Department of Education provides links to each state's department of education where you can find report cards for each school district
Every state's website is organized differently, but you should be able to find report cards that give percentages in each of the three categories above.