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Texas teacher incentive program promotes student growth

Posted at 4:47 PM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 20:26:05-04

BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — The Lone-Star State has a teacher incentive program focused on growth. Teachers with the greatest impact on their students have the opportunity to increase their annual income.

In an average Texas school day, students spend nearly a third of their day with their teachers.

"Our teachers are key to all of our student's success and making sure that they are rewarded and recognized is important to us," Caitlin Madison, executive director, communications, marketing, and public relations, International Leadership, Texas said.

So when the Texas Legislature passed a bill in 2019 opening the opportunity for teachers who truly help their students grow to make more money, International Leadership Texas was all on board.

IL Texas has had two groups of teachers receive the extra funds. One teacher receiving nearly 20 thousand on top of their annual salary.

"That's life-changing money. It helps a lot especially during everything that everyone has gone through right now," Madison said.

The program is designed to reward high-performing teachers based on the students' growth.

"It's a really powerful measure. Looking at where the student was when they came to you and how far you were able to grow that student in the time you had with that student," Barabara Ybarra, Associate Superintendent of Teacher and Learning, Bryan Independent School District said.

Each district or school must apply and be approved by the Texas Education Agency. Teachers must have a specific distinction to qualify.

Bryan ISD just submitted an application but is excited to see their teachers have an opportunity to earn more.

The school district expects qualifying recipients to receive the financial boost in 2023.

"Achievement is important. Growth is more important, right? How do we get them to grow and how do we make sure they are growing at a rate that meets or exceeds expected growth within the time a teacher has with them,," Ybarra said.

"Once teachers are aware that they don't have to do anything different than what they are already doing. If they are already exceptional teachers then they are going to get this funding no matter what," Madison said.

Teachers who get the incentive can earn anywhere from three thousand to about 30 thousand dollars extra.

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