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A Path to a Six-Figure Teacher Salary

October 15, 2019

Short Description:  

House Bill 3 created the Teacher Incentive Allotment, which can provide Texas charter districts the ability to reward their highest-performing teachers with extra pay. This extra pay is on top of base salaries and can provide a path for high performing teachers to earn six-figure salaries.  

Longer Description:  

House Bill 3 created the Teacher Incentive Allotment to help Texas school districts pay their highest-performing teachers more to keep them in the classroom. High-performing teachers frequently leave the teaching profession in search of higher wages. Some seek roles in school or district administration, while others switch careers despite their love of teaching and success at driving student achievement. Members of both the Texas House and Senate Education Committees said that they created the Teacher Incentive Allotment, because they wanted to show high-performing teachers the respect they deserve by providing funding that could enable them to potentially earn a six-figure salary. However, legislators designed the Teacher Incentive Allotment to reward not only great teaching, but also high-performing teachers’ willingness to teach in schools with majority high-poverty students (especially in rural areas of Texas).  

 Charter districts do not have instant access to Teacher Incentive Allotment funds. Charters must first create a Teacher Designation System that rates teachers on their level of performance using classroom observations, student test scores and any other factors they choose. Charters must then submit an application to have their designation system approved by TEA. Once TEA approves a charter’s designation system, they will have access to Teacher Incentive Allotment funds the following year. See the bullet points below for particulars about the Teacher Incentive Allotment. These points come from TCSA’s official HB 3 Memo, which members receive every month with updates. 

  • This allotment is available to any school in Texas that adopts the teacher designation system (in HB 3). 
  • Bonuses have a base level of $12K (master teacher), $6K (exemplary teacher), and $3K (recognized teacher) and may be increased based on the application of a high needs and rural factor.  
  • To determine the high needs and rural factor, the amount of $5k (master teacher), $3k (exemplary teacher) and 1.5k (recognized teacher) is multiplied by the average of the point value assigned to each student at a campus. A point value for each student at a campus shall be assigned as either 0 for a student for whom the charter does not receive a Compensatory Education Allotment or, for a student for whom the charter receives a Compensatory Education Allotment, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0, respectively, from least to most severe economic disadvantage according to the census block in which the student resides. 
  • For examples on how to calculate estimates of Teacher Incentive Allotment funding watch the following video:  
  • If the campus at which the student is enrolled is classified as a rural campus, a student is assigned the point value two tiers higher than the point value determined above. 
  • The only way for a charter to receive funding from the Teacher Incentive Allotment for non-economically disadvantaged students, is if those children live in a rural area of Texas. 
  • Click here for a list of schools TEA would designate as rural.
  • TEA will determine economic disadvantage by census block group of students. 
  • To be eligible for this allotment a charter must implement a local designation system that they create with stakeholder input, which they must submit to TEA for approval. 
  • The bonuses are only available to state-certified teachers, or those on a probationary certificate working toward certification, and those a school has designated as master, exemplary or recognized. 
  • National Board Certified Teachers will automatically earn a Recognized designation. TEA will provide reimbursements for teachers’ national board certification. 
  • A teacher’s designation will not change if they teach a different subject or leave to teach in another district. The designation follows the teacher. 
  • A teacher’s designation will appear on their SBEC certificate. 
  • Charters may update a teacher’s designation annually. If charters do not act to change a teacher designation, the teacher keeps their designation for 5 years. 
  • A charter’s teacher designation system must include teacher observation and the performance of a teacher’s students. 
  • Observations must be based on a rubric. T-TESS, Danielson Framework and NIET TAP are all pre-approved rubrics. Other rubrics will need TEA approval. 
  • TEA and Texas Tech University will review the quality, validity, and reliability of the observation tools and student performance measures as part of the LEA designation system approval process. 
  • Charters may choose to include other components in their designation system, such as evidence of teacher leadership or student surveys. 
  • This winter 2019, TEA will post a Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) letter of intent to apply, which charters will use to indicate interest in submitting a TIA application in spring 2020.  
  • In spring 2020, LEAs that submitted a letter of intent can submit an application for the Teacher Incentive Allotment. 
  • To be eligible to apply for TIA funds in spring 2020, districts must have paid teachers during the 2019-2020 school year based on their performance in the 2018-2019 school year.  
  • LEAs with approved teacher designation systems in place will receive Teacher Incentive Allotment funding in fall 2020. 
  • At least 90% of the Teacher Incentive Allotment funds must be used on teacher compensation. The remaining funds could be used for costs associated with implementing the local designation system or to support teachers in obtaining designations. 
  • TEA will send a “To the Administrator” letter in October 2019 regarding the Teacher Incentive Allotment addressing necessary details. However, TEA says it is committed to a plan that ensures those charters who are eligible, approved and already providing related compensation to teachers in 2019-2020 will receive funding for 2019-2020. 
  • TEA plans to create a tool on its website for the public to look up how show much each district receives in Teacher Incentive Allotment funding. (exact date of release unknown)    
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