The Texas State Legislature passed House Bill 3 in 2019, resulting in a massive potential increase in the level of compensation that quality teachers can receive. This new Teacher Incentive Allotment promises to more effectively reward high-performing teachers and incentivize them to stay in teaching, and in Texas.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Teacher Incentive Allotment and how it will impact educators and school districts across the state.
What is the Teacher Incentive Allotment?
The Teacher Incentive Allotment is designed to provide Texas with the funds to ‘reward, retain, and recruit highly effective teachers.’ Essentially, it’s a new method by which districts can create compensation plans based around the effectiveness of teachers. The stated purpose of the model is to create a path so that the best-performing teachers are able to earn as much as a six-figure salary, reducing the desire for these excellent teachers to leave teaching for more lucrative career paths.
HB3 was inspired by other state and nationwide incentive programs that have been proven successful at helping retain high-performing teachers. It will recognize effective teachers on a scale with three different levels, with corresponding increases in compensation: Recognized, Exemplary, and Master. When a teacher reaches one of these designations, their district will be allotted additional funding in order to reward them with increased compensation.
How the Teacher Incentive Allotment Works
The state is leaving the development of designation systems to the individual districts, allowing them to develop their own system and assign high-performing teachers with the designation of Master, Exemplary or Recognized. The TEA will then approve these local designation systems as part of a partnership with Texas Tech University.
It’s important to note that districts will not be required to develop their own local designation system. The Teacher Incentive Allotment website states that ‘all Texas school systems can employ designated teachers and receive allotment funds.”
Districts will receive additional funding ranging from $3K to $32K per year for each designated teacher employed in that district. There will be an emphasis for teachers that teach at rural or high-need campuses, encouraging high performing teachers to remain at these schools.
The state has designated that at least 90% of all TIA funds must be used on teacher compensation at the campus where the teacher works.
The three-tiered design of the designation program includes, from lowest to highest, Recognized, Exemplary, and Master.
Teachers who are National Board Certified are automatically eligible to receive Recognized designation and the corresponding funds. In order to designate teachers beyond Recognized status, or to recognize teachers who are not eligible through National Board Certification, districts will be able to create their own local designation systems. The process for approving these local designation systems will feature multiple steps including an application to the Texas Education Agency and a data validation process conducted in partnership with Texas Tech University.
Funding will correspond to the level of designation— the higher the designation, the greater the increase in funding allotment and teacher pay.
How to Get TIA Allotment Funds
There are two ways that teachers can generate TIA allotment funding— through a local teacher designation system or through national board certification of teachers.
Local Teacher Designation System
HB 3 was written to provide a great degree of local control and flexibility when it comes to choosing how they will evaluate teachers and assign specific designations.
The official website page about local designation system requirements adds:
“Developing a local teacher designation system requires significant planning, robust stakeholder engagement, adequate time to prepare all necessary materials for rollout and a strong communication plan prior to the first implementation year.”
At minimum, a district’s designation system must include a combination of teacher observation and student performance assessment.
Teacher’s must be observed based on an approved rubric, student growth measures must include tests and value-added measures, and districts are also permitted to use other factors such as student surveys, leadership responsibilities, mentorship responsibilities, family surveys, demonstration of core values and teacher peer surveys.
Teachers who wish to obtain a Recognized designation can also do so by becoming a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT). To be eligible, the teacher must be listed as a Texas teacher in the NBCT directory, be employed by a Texas school district or public charter, hold an active National Board certificate, and complete a creditable year of service in order to generate funding for that year.
Here are some other resources provided by the state in relation to the Teacher Incentive Allotment.
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