Teacher Incentive Allotment

Since 2020, the District has been exploring ways to provide incentives for highly effective teachers through the Teacher Incentive Allotment as part of the District’s recruitment and retention efforts.

After a COVID-related delay, the District applied to TEA in April with the first phase of TIA and was approved. The next step in the process is to gather data during 2022-23 and to submit to the state. The system cannot be approved by TEA until district data has been reviewed.

The Teacher Incentive Allotment is part of House Bill 3, passed by the legislature in 2019, and provides a state stipend to teachers who achieve certain designations.

The Teacher Incentive Allotment is not a merit-pay approach to compensation, and it will not replace or affect the District’s current pay structure. Additionally, the Teacher Incentive Allotment does not require districts to assign designations using a forced distribution. As a result, teachers will not be in competition with one another for a designation. From the beginning of the development of the local designation system, the District has been focused on integrating the Teacher Incentive Allotment into the good work teachers are already doing throughout the District and making sure the system is useful for improving student outcomes.

Designing a Local Designation System

While districts have been given flexibility on how to design their local designation system for the Teachers Incentive Allotment, state law requires a local designation system to include both teacher observation and student growth. Other components can be added at the district’s discretion. Therefore, the designation system may look different in each district. State law does not require a forced distribution, and therefore Frisco ISD’s local designation system will have no cap on the number of teachers who can receive designations, and there will be no ranking of teachers. One teacher’s designation will have no bearing on another teacher’s ability to earn a designation. If a teacher’s data meets the determined cut point, they will be designated.

Designation Levels

The Teacher Incentive Allotment is provided to teachers based on three designation levels, Recognized, Exemplary, and Master. In Frisco ISD, each teacher who is designated will receive a state stipend equal to 90% of the allotment generated as one lump sum the Spring after they are designated. The District will use the remaining 10% of the allotment to pay for the costs associated with implementing the local designation system. After costs, yearly stipends in Frisco ISD will range from $2,700 to $14,000. The state stipend amount varies based on the designation and the level of socioeconomic need on the campus where the teacher is employed.

Stakeholder Input

The District has worked with stakeholders at every level and subject area, including teachers, principals, curriculum coordinators, and representatives from many departments in central administration. A Teacher Incentive Allotment Task Force made up of teachers and principals from every campus in the district serves to provide feedback throughout the process of building a local designation system, and their feedback continues to impact the decisions made regarding the District’s system. Additionally, teachers and curriculum coordinators have been attending monthly workshops to build student growth measures.

Required Components

Teacher Observation

Teacher observation is a required component of the Teacher Incentive Allotment. Teacher observation in Frisco ISD will be based on Domains 2 and 3 of the T-TESS rubric, and TEA has provided standards to help districts distinguish designation levels.

Student Growth

The Teacher Incentive Allotment requires a designation system to measure student growth, not performance. Measuring student growth ensures that a teacher can be recognized for growing a student academically even if that student doesn’t meet a certain achievement level. The student growth measure will vary depending on the subject area. Some subject areas may be able to use a state or locally developed test, while others will use a portfolio method. TEA provided districts with standards to help determine student growth.

Ensuring Fairness in the Teacher Incentive Allotment

In order to establish a fair designation system, TEA requires districts to ensure calibration of appraisers so that a teacher is not more or less likely to receive a designation because of the appraiser. Additionally, a district is required to ensure that a teacher is not more or less likely to get a designation based on their subject area or teaching assignment.

State Eligibility

Eligibility is determined by state law, which requires each designated teacher to hold a teaching certificate, to be in a role ID coded as 087, and to teach students directly for a full year at least 50% of the day in a way that impacts student growth. A few positions that will not be eligible because of state law include counselors, librarians, nurses, paras, diagnosticians and instructional coaches who are no longer in the classroom.

TIA Timeline and Eligibility in Frisco ISD

While it is the ultimate goal for every teacher allowed by state law to be eligible in Frisco ISD, this can’t happen immediately, as student growth measures are still being developed. Therefore, the District will phase in select groups of teachers over a course of three years. Phase 1 will include teachers of 4-8 Math and Reading, Algebra 1 and English 2. These courses were chosen because the state assessment has progress measures built in, and teachers of those courses will not be required to do any additional work to gather data on student growth. The District plans to add more courses in Phase 2 in the 2023-24 school year, which will most likely include core areas and a few others and Phase 3 in the 2024-25 school year, as soon as student growth measures are developed, but these plans are subject to change. 

As a group phases in, every teacher in the eligible group will be required to be observed, regardless of the less-than-annual observation schedule. Therefore, in the 2022-23 school year, 4-8 Math and Reading, Algebra 1 and English 2 teachers will all be observed as part of the District’s data collection for TIA, along with anyone who teaches a course that supports those STAAR tests, including Special Education, Reading Lab, etc. This will be in addition to anyone who was already scheduled to be observed.

National Board Certification

Even if a district decides not to pursue the creation of a local designation system, teachers can attain a Recognized designation if they earn their National Board Certification. National Board Certification takes an average of three years for a teacher to complete and costs $1,975. Teachers must demonstrate advanced knowledge and skill in their certificate area and provide three portfolios and complete a computer-based assessment. A candidate must have three years teaching experience prior to starting the certification process. Once a certification is earned, TEA will reimburse $1,900. To seek reimbursement for National Board Certification, reach out to Chastity Johnson in HR at JohnsonC@friscoisd.org.

For more information, please see the District’s Teacher Incentive Allotments Frequently Asked Questions. FISD teachers who have questions that are not addressed in the FAQ or would like to provide other feedback to be considered in the development of a local teacher designation system can log into their FISD Google account to access this feedback form.

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