| Jul 16, 2012
The U.S. Department of Education announced the final application period for the $285 million Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) 2012 competition. This round of the competition includes a new focus on supporting district-wide evaluation systems that reward success, offer greater professional opportunities, and drive decision-making on recruitment, development, and retention of effective teachers and principals. Applications are due July 27, 2012 and winners will be announced in September.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, “TIF 2012 will reward districts that go beyond simple merit-pay programs to create systems of professional support and career ladders that help keep talent in schools and classrooms with the greatest need.”
Districts may apply for a share of funds either individually or in partnership with one or more districts. States and non-profits are also invited to apply in conjunction with one or more districts.
Five-year grants will be awarded to applicants that demonstrate readiness to transition to a new evaluation system, involvement of principals and teachers in developing a plan, and effective methods for placing and keeping talent in hard-to-staff schools. Funds would support performance-based compensation and related professional development as well as the creation or improvement of systems and tools that benefit the entire district.
Evaluation systems will incorporate performance tiers and account for multiple measures, including student growth at the classroom level. Improved evaluations must be in place in at least a sample of schools by the beginning of year two and must be phased in at remaining schools district-wide no later than year three.Like the 2010 competition, TIF 2012 gives preference to new applicants. Two new competitive preferences have been added to support progressive plans to put in place salary structures that incorporate teacher and principal performance as well as applications serving rural districts. The TIF website includes links to applications from the 2010 recipients.
The 2012 application is available at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/teacherincentive/applicant.html. The Department anticipates awarding around 30 grants ranging from $500 thousand to $12 million, depending on the number of staff served and content outlined in the plan. Awards will provide first-year funding. Additional dollars for years two through five are dependent on congressional action.
Although the application should be submitted online through Grants.gov, a PDF of the application package is available online.
Also, there will be a pre-application webinar series for applicants. The Department requests that groups share one phone line to ensure all potential applicants have access to an open line. Participation is voluntary, and a link to a recording of the webinars will be made available on the TIF website. The webinar schedule is as follows:
- General TIF Competition Webinar on June 19, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
- TIF Competition with a Focus on STEM Webinar on June 21, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
- TIF Competition – Technical Assistance for Rural Applicants Webinar on June 26, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
- Grants.gov Webinar on June 28, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
Participants can register for webinars at http://www.seiservices.com/AITQ/WebinarRegistration/.
Also, the Department is seeking expert reviewers for the 2012 TIF grant competition.
Visit the 2012 TIF grant website for more information.