“One of the most difficult challenges in improving our schools has been finding fair ways to train and reward principals and teachers who help low income students achieve more.” -Lamar Alexander
U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today offered an amendment to the FY09 Budget Resolution that would add $300 million to the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF). The amendment passed the Senate by unanimous consent.
Alexander, a former U.S. Education Secretary, said the amendment would provide a total of $400 million for the grant program used to train and compensate principals and teachers who help low income children achieve better results
“This amendment would continue the good work of the current 34 grant awards – including programs in Memphis – and expand the program to 30 more grantees,” Alexander said. “Many of these programs work well because they are designed to measure improvements in student achievement and were developed in full consultation with teachers and principals.”
Alexander said the Teacher Incentive Fund is designed to find new ways to reward outstanding school leaders and outstanding teachers – those individuals that demonstrate their ability to impact student achievement.
Alexander said the program does this by improving compensation programs for those who:
o Have a demonstrated record of improving student academic achievement.
o Teach in high-need subjects such as math and science.
o Teach in high-need, low-income schools.
“One of the most difficult challenges in improving our schools has been finding fair ways to train and reward principals and teachers who help low income students achieve more,” Alexander said. “Memphis and other cities who receive grants under the Teacher Incentive Fund often have the most promising ideas in place.”
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $100 million to 34 grantees from across the country, including Memphis. In Memphis, the TIF awarded $3.1 million for the past two years to provide support for teachers and principals in 17 Memphis schools and plans to provide another $9 million to Memphis over the next three years.