The following was included in TCTA's 2019-20 Survival Guide, the ultimate reference tool for Texas educators, and is current as of September 2019 but is subject to change. The information below is for information purposes only, and is not intended to substitute for advice from an attorney.

Recently passed legislation provides a financial incentive for local school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to adopt optional local teacher designation systems that designate a certified teacher as a master, exemplary or recognized teacher. The designation, which can last up to five years, must be based on single or multi-year appraisals that comply with the state-recommended appraisal system (T-TESS) or a locally developed appraisal process and performance criteria developed by the district- and campus-level committees established under law and adopted by the board of trustees.

Although the commissioner of education must establish performance and validity standards for these designation systems, a teacher holding a National Board Certification may be designated as recognized. The commissioner’s performance standards may not require a district to use a state assessment instrument to evaluate teacher performance.

Districts and open-enrollment charters with adopted local optional teacher designation systems, which the commissioner has ensured meet statutory requirements and prioritize high-needs campuses, are eligible to receive a teacher incentive allotment for each designated classroom teacher as follows:

  • Master teacher: $12,000, or an amount not to exceed $32,000 (as determined by a high needs and rural multiplier)
  • Exemplary teacher: $6,000, or an amount not to exceed $18,000 (as determined by a high needs and rural multiplier) 
  • Recognized teacher: $3,000, or an amount not to exceed $9,000 (as determined by a high needs and rural multiplier)

A district must annually certify that at least 90 percent of the allotment was used for compensation of teachers employed at a campus at which the teacher for whom the district received the allotment is employed.

See also:

Salaries