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100 Texas Schools Invited To Participate In Governor’s Educator Excellence Award Program
In November 2005, Governor Rick Perry initiated the $10 million grant program for paying bonuses to school employees who have performed above expectations in raising student performance levels. One hundred Texas schools have been invited to participate in the Governor’s Educator Excellence Award Program. To date, 98 have accepted the invitation.
The chosen Texas Schools have a high percentage of economically disadvantaged students. Each school has demonstrated high levels of student achievement or marked student improvement. Each has been rated exemplary or recognized, which are the two top academic ratings that can be awarded to a school under the Texas schools’ accountability system; or they have shown strong performance gains in the areas of mathematics and reading.
Each school may apply for a three-year grant as follows:
• Schools with 449 students or less — $60,000 a year grant,
To maintain eligibility for the grant program, the participating Texas schools must receive ratings of academically acceptable or better. Recommended bonus amounts range from $3,000 to $10,000 per individual.
Each school may develop a customized incentive pay program that fits their individual school, as long as the teachers are involved in its development and under the following guidelines:
• 75 percent of the grant money must be used for classroom teacher incentive pay;
Athletic coaches are not eligible for the program, unless they also teach and qualify under the classroom teacher guidelines.
The customized incentive pay plans may take into account a teacher’s assignment in hard-to-staff areas that are specific to individual school districts. A teacher’s initiative and commitment to other activities that directly result in improved student performance also may be considered, such as tutoring students after school.
Some of the possible uses for the remaining 25 percent of the grant money are:
• To provide incentive pay for other school personnel who contribute to increased student achievement,
Though 12 percent of the Texas schools’ districts have some type of teacher incentive pay program, this is the first state program in almost 20 years. When Texas schools achieve exceptional results, the principals always give credit to their teachers and staffs. The Intent of the Governor’s excellence award program is to say a very sincere “thank you” to the teachers and staff who go the extra mile to help students succeed.
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