The teacher incentive allotment program makes it a bit easier for Texas teachers to earn a six-figure salary, here's how.
Texas has made it a bit easier for teachers to earn a six-figure salary. The Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) Local Teacher Designation System was passed in the state’s 86th legislation in 2019. Part of House Bill 3, a comprehensive school finance bill, the program includes two key parts.
First, teachers are identified and able to generate funds based on their performance. Teacher incentive allotment performance is gauged by student growth measures and teacher observations. Second, Texas teachers who receive National Board Certification automatically receive a TIA “Recognized” rating along with allotment earnings. Once a teacher receives a TIA designation, it moves with them if they decide to teach in a different district.
One potentially confusing aspect of the teacher incentive allotment is that it’s not given directly to the qualifying teacher. Instead, funds are poured into the teacher’s school district which must use at least 90% of the funds for teacher compensation on the campus where the qualifying teacher works. The remaining 10% can be used to support local designations or to support teachers in obtaining their designation.
According to an article shared by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association, teacher incentive allotment funding varies between $3,000 and $32,000 depending on the teacher’s designation level. Teachers at the “Recognized” level can obtain between $3,000 and $9,000 per teacher. Instructors at the middle level, “Exemplary” can gain between $6,000 and $18,000per teacher. At the highest level, “Master” teachers can receive allotments between $12,000 and $32,000 per teacher.
In the neighboring state of Oklahoma, parents and teachers are worried about legislation that will harm under-funded rural schools. Texas lawmakers moved in the opposite direction by designing the teacher incentive allotment program with rural students in mind. According to an opinion piece shared in the Austin American-Statesman, Texas has more rural students than any other state. Minority students make up nearly half of the student population and more of them live in poverty compared with kids in urban districts.
Historically, rural schools are more likely to have inexperienced teachers with lower certification exam scores. They are also less likely to attract specialized instructors, which hampers the rural school’s access to special education services and Advanced Placement courses. These disparities can make it harder for students to achieve the growth measures linked to receiving teacher incentive allotment funds, including STAAR test results and impressive student portfolios.
Designated teachers who choose to work in rural areas of Texas will generate greater teacher incentive allotments for their schools, benefitting both them and their schools. A campus must meet specific definitions to qualify as a rural campus, namely having fewer than 5,000 enrolled students. Schools with a high level of socio-economic need also receive higher allotments.
Teachers interested in becoming qualified for the teacher incentive allotment program can obtain more information on the state’s TIA website. Texas is divided into 20 different Regional Education Service Centers (ESC). A color-coded funding map is available to help educators locate a specific district or school campus. Users can search by school, district, or ESC.