The Texas Education Agency (TEA) responded favorably to TCTA concerns (see June 2010 Comments below) about proposed rule changes to the District Awards for Teacher Excellence (DATE) program by eliminating objectionable language and reinstating the requirement that local awards plans be submitted to TEA with evidence of a campus majority vote for participating campuses in the final rules. 

When TEA posted proposed revisions to DATE, a teacher incentive program adopted by the 79th Legislature in 2006, and amended by the 81st legislature last session, TCTA submitted extensive comments, including objections to the proposed expansion of the definition of "award" to include non-monetary awards, like professional development. 

TCTA argued that under the proposed definition, teachers could receive professional development of questionable value in lieu of actual money, which is deemed universally valuable. In response, TEA admitted that such a scenario was possible and removed "professional development" from the definition.

Additionally, TEA reinserted language requiring that local awards plans be submitted with evidence of a campus majority vote for participating campuses after TCTA objected to its proposed elimination.

Finally, TEA agreed with TCTA’s concern that the proposed revisions failed to adequately ensure that teachers and principals eligible to receive awards under the plan received prior notification of the specific criteria and any formulas on which the awards would be based.

In response, TEA inserted language in the final rules that local awards plans must make information available to staff and the public before the beginning of the period on which the awards will be based on the methodology used to determine award amounts.

Microsoft Office document icon June 2010 Comments58.5 KB