Republicans believe every child deserves to learn from a highly qualified teacher. Through the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), Republicans have provided historic increases in teacher quality funding to help states put a qualified teacher in every classroom.
As Congress begins the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), it does so with their understanding that America’s teachers are on the frontlines of a national effort to close the achievement gap between low-income students and more advantaged peers. During the NCLB reauthorization process, House Republicans will push for innovative ways to reward these men and women for their successes inside the classroom.
THE TEACHER INCENTIVE FUND
Through the Teacher Incentive Fund Act, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) has proposed an innovative program – the Teacher Incentive Fund – to help states and local communities reward educators who improve student achievement and close achievement gaps.
- The Teacher Incentive Fund would provide funds to states and local school districts to help them develop performance-based compensation systems that offer teachers and principals “recognition pay” for demonstrating progress in raising student achievement levels and closing the achievement gap.
- Notably, no federally-designed performance-based compensation system would be imposed upon states or schools. Rather, the Teacher Incentive Fund Act simply gives states and local school districts the tools they need to design and implement systems that meet their unique needs.
- The federal government has already provided states and schools more than $100 million in recent years to design and implement performance-based compensation standards. The Teacher Incentive Fund Act simply would authorize the program and make it a permanent component of America’s teacher quality improvement strategy.
- The Commission on No Child Left Behind recently recommended a series of reforms to bolster teacher quality. Included in these reforms is “the use of differential and bonus pay to attract teachers to hard-to-staff schools and to subjects with teacher shortages.”
- The Teacher Incentive Fund Act builds upon this recommendation so states and schools have the ability to retain and reward teachers and principals who are particularly effective inside the classroom.
- A recent survey by the Teaching Commission showed two-thirds of those surveyed support the concept of teacher pay-for-performance initiatives. Specifically, “they want bigger pay increases given to teachers with the best record of improving student academic achievement as measured by test-score gains and other indicators.” (“Analysis: Public wants teacher merit pay,” United Press International, April 7, 2005.)