The Teacher Incentive Allotment/local teacher designation system was one of numerous programs in House Bill 3, the comprehensive school finance bill passed in the 86th legislative session in 2019.

There are two main parts to TIA: one is that teachers are identified and paid in part on student growth; another is that teachers who have National Board Certification automatically receive a “Recognized” rating along with teacher incentive allotment earnings.

For the part in which teachers are identified and paid in part based on student growth, eligible districts must have adopted a local teacher designation system designating a certified classroom teacher as a Master, Exemplary or Recognized teacher for a five-year period based on the results of single or multi-year appraisals that comply with T-TESS or a locally developed appraisal process as well as student growth.

TEA rules provide that the district utilize student growth measures such as:

  • Value added measures based on STAAR or other normed, valid tests
  • Student learning objectives
  • Student portfolios
  • Pre- and post-tests

Assessments used to measure student growth must be valid and reliable, and implemented with fidelity, according to vetted testing protocols.

The funding available for the teacher incentive allotment varies by designation:

  • Recognized teachers, $3,000 to $9,000 per teacher
  • Exemplary teachers, $6,000 to $18,000 per teacher
  • Master teachers, $12,000 to $32,000 per teacher

Districts with designated teachers serving at rural schools and schools with high levels of socio-economic need will receive higher allotments. For example, the allotment for an exemplary teacher at a rural school with the highest level of socio-economic need would get the full $18,000.

Teachers holding National Board Certification are automatically awarded a “Recognized” designation, regardless of whether their school district has a local teacher designation system in place.

However, a key point is that the funding does not go directly to the designated teacher. Rather, the funding goes to the teacher’s school district, with the requirement that the district must use at least 90% of the funds for teacher compensation on the campus where the designated teacher works.

Twenty-six districts were approved for the first Cohort (A) to offer teacher designation systems in 2019-20. The program distributed about $40 million to around 3,650 teachers across the state for the 2019-20 school year (as part of the settle-up process in September 2020).

More districts started the process of creating local designation systems in 2020-21. Click here to see if your district is on the list.

Three hundred and twenty-seven National Board Certified teachers were automatically awarded Recognized status in 2019-20, generating anywhere from $3,000 to $9,000 for the NBCT’s district (as noted above, the amount depends on the socioeconomic status of the students and the campus’ rural status). Three hundred more National Board teachers are expected to earn designations in 2020-21. However, in order to automatically receive the designation, NBCTs need to make sure they have registered a Texas address in the NBCT directory.

Also, beginning in the 2020-21 school year, NBCT fee reimbursement is available from TEA – these funds can be used to reimburse even those teachers who received National Board Certification as far back as the 2019-20 school year.

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