The Texas Education Agency (TEA) recently announced the first districts approved for a Local Designation System as part of the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA), and nearly half of the approved districts (12 of 26) are charter schools. More than half of the districts (15 of 26) received approval for the full five years, while the remaining 11 districts received provisional approval for only one or two years. Enrollment at approved districts range from as small as 250 total students to as large as more than 150,000 students.
Incentives provided to approved Cohort A districts range from a low of $3,081 for a recognized teacher to a high of $31,221 for a master teacher. Funding amounts differ by district and campus, with higher amounts granted to teachers at rural campuses and campuses with higher populations of high-needs students.
TEA also released To The Administrator Addressed (TAA) guidance Thursday, September 3, that provides considerations for districts that were not part of Cohort A but hire a designated teacher for 2020–2021. Funding will be based on where a teacher is reported on the February 2021 Class Roster Winter Submission, and TEA will provide districts with an annual report of designated teachers and schedule TIA funds in late April 2021.
It will be especially important for districts to pay close attention to the report from TEA, because payments to teachers must be made by August 31, 2021, but funding won’t be received from the state until September 2021 to settle-up in the first year of a teacher’s designation or employment. In subsequent years, funding will be part of the regular Foundation School Program (FSP) funding from the state with settle-up each September to account for changes, such as new designations or teacher hires or departures.
The TAA guidance reminds districts to check the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) certification records for new teacher hires to determine whether the teacher is designated. Districts also should be aware of any National Board Certified teachers in the district because these teachers will earn a recognized designation in April 2021 and generate funding for their designation.
TEA also would like districts to ensure their TIA contact is up to date by September 30 so notification in April of designated teachers and funding estimates gets to the right person.
Updated Letter of Intent (LOI)
More than 500 districts submitted an LOI to be a Cohort D district, which would require an application be submitted by April 2021 with data collection (student growth and appraisal data) occurring during the 2021–2022 school year. Many districts are realizing that designing a local optional teacher designation system during this school year may not be the best timing. As part of the TAA guidance, TEA is asking districts to submit an updated LOI (or new LOI, if not previously submitted) indicating the year the district intends to apply.
The cohort choices are:
- Cohort D: data capture in 2021–2022 and application due April 2021
- Cohort E: data capture in 2022–2023 and application due April 2022
- Cohort F: data capture in 2023–2024 and application due April 2023
- Cohort G: data capture in 2024–2025 and application due April 2024
Finally, the TAA guidance provides more information about reimbursement for National Board Certification and a list of updated and new information on the TIA website. Some of the new or updated items include:
- Sample answers to questions on the designation system application
- Video resources, including videos to support teacher observation calibration
- Student growth measure information and guidance
- Upcoming webinars in September, October, and December
While TASB HR Services provided many in-person TIA trainings in the fall and winter, we’ve pivoted to virtual trainings for at least the remainder of this calendar year. We currently have one statewide TIA virtual training scheduled for two half-days on November 17 and 18 that is available to anyone. Cost for attendees is $150 each, and you can register via the TASB HR Services Training Calendar. If a district would prefer to schedule a virtual TIA training for themselves, contact HR Services for pricing and availability.
Amy Campbell is director at TASB HR Services. Send Amy an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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