What is the Teacher Incentive Allotment?

Teacher with students

The Teacher Incentive Allotment is a big deal for Texas teachers and their students. Governor Abbott signed House Bill 3 into law in 2019. Included in this legislation is the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA), which establishes a system to reward Texas’s best teachers with a large pay increase.

TIA allotment funds help Texas school systems reward, retain, and recruit highly effective teachers. This is especially true for teachers on high needs and rural campuses because the funding formula prioritizes those campuses.

The 88th legislature is expected to continue funding for the foreseeable future. Through the Teacher Incentive Allotment, districts can create compensation plans based on teacher effectiveness and student equity and create a path for outstanding teachers to earn up to six-figure salaries.

Teacher Designation Levels

Teachers are designated on three levels using TIA: Recognized, Exemplary, and Master. These teacher designations are valid for five years. They generate additional teacher-focused allotment funding so districts can reward and retain their top performers and recruit the best teachers to their classrooms.

The ultimate beneficiaries of the Teacher Incentive Allotment are our students. This is because districts with approved TIA plans have a new and powerful tool to recruit and retain the absolute best teachers to their schools.

To be eligible for recognition, the prospective designee must be employed as a teacher, work in a full-time teaching role for at least a semester and at least half time for the entire year, and have an active standard or lifetime Texas teacher certification.

Teachers can earn designations via two different routes. First, National Board Certified teachers are automatically eligible to earn a Recognized designation. Second, districts can designate their most effective teachers based on the requirements in their TEA-approved Teacher Incentive Allotment plan.

Teacher Incentive Allotment Funding

The designation of the annual base allotment for an employing school system ranges from  $3,000 for Recognized, $6,000 for Exemplary, and $12,000 for Master teachers. The allotment funding may increase depending on a campus’s rural status and socio-economic need. So a Master teacher at a rural, high-needs campus could make up to an additional $32,000 a year!

At least 90% of TIA funds must be used for teacher compensation on the campus where the designated teacher(s) works. The remaining Teacher Incentive Allotment funds are used to support the district’s TIA plan and help teachers grow professionally so they too can be designated and receive a pay increase.

If a teacher decides to move to another district or campus, the designation follows the teacher. So the new district will receive an allotment, as long as they meet the general recognition criteria.

Teacher Incentive Allotment Approval Process

The Teacher Incentive Allotment approval process is a multi-step, multi-year endeavor. It includes submitting a system application to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and a data validation process through Texas Tech University.

The first step districts must take includes intensive district planning, working with their stakeholders, and aligning their system to performance standards. From there, they submit their TIA application to TEA for review.  Once a district’s application is approved, their data capture year begins. This is the time when they begin tracking the teacher observation and student growth data within the plan. The district will submit its data to Texas Tech University for data validation. The last step is for TEA to review the outcomes of the data validation and application to determine final approval.  If approved, the district can begin receiving their allotment funding.

Putting together a TIA plan that will be approved by TEA takes time and commitment, but your district is not alone. We at ESC Region 13 understand district and school administrators are busy. We are ready to assist you in developing and successfully implementing your Teacher Incentive Allotment plan.

Learn more about our consultation services for districts in creating a TIA plan.

John is an Administrative Specialist for Educator Evaluation and Leadership at ESC Region 13.

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