San Antonio – More than 3,600 Texas teachers are getting a boost in pay for the next five years.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced Tuesday its inaugural Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) list, which was made possible with the passage of House Bill 3 in 2019.
Grace Wu, director of strategic compensation for the TEA, said the goal is to keep good teachers in the classroom.
“We see a lot of teachers stepping out of the classroom in order to make more money by pursuing administration jobs,” she said.
Teacher pay is based on a teacher’s designation level of master, exemplary or recognized. Teachers in rural districts are favored as those are districts with lower student socioeconomic status.
Some $40 million will be distributed over 26 districts where the teachers selected work. The allotments are for five years.
According to Wu, three districts in Region 20 made the first list. Somerset ISD has 17 teachers and was allotted roughly $1.7 million over the next five years. La Pryor ISD had three teachers selected and will receive some $270,000 over the next five years. Harmony Science Academy San Antonio had 49 chosen teachers.
The districts must use at least 90% of the funds on teacher pay. The rest of the money can be left up to the district’s discretion to help continue the TIA program or professional development.
Dr. Saul Hinojosa, superintendent of Somerset ISD, said the pay increase is life-changing for some of his teachers.
“Some of these teachers will be getting $23,000 every year for the next five years. That’s amazing, you know, to have teachers make over $80,000,” he said.
Hinojosa said it’s a win for the district because it helps with teacher retention and recruitment, and students win by having some of the best teachers.
The TEA says the next list of allotments will be announced in April 2021. Wu says there’s a team ready to help walk districts through the tedious application process for TIA.