Thursday, the United States Department of Education handed out 35 grants — a sum totaling $290 million — as part of the 2012 Teacher Incentive Fund. Grantees are comprised of a number of school districts, nonprofit organizations and state services, altogether serving approximately 1,000 schools in 150 districts across 18 states and the District of Columbia.
The grants will go towards improving pay structures and increasing professional opportunities for educators in schools with high-poverty areas. The 2012 Teacher Incentive Fund urged school districts to improved teacher compensations via “career ladders” or performance-based pay models, with this year’s applicants submitting either general proposals or proposals anchored around science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
Of this year’s winning applicants, 29 received grants to develop district-wide evaluation programs that reward successful teachers, as well as design models that help recruit, retain and create additional career options for effective educators.
“Our best teachers and principals are invaluable leaders in changing life outcomes for students,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is quoted in a recent press release from the Department of Education. “They are desperately needed in our struggling schools, and they deserve to be recognized, rewarded and given the opportunity to have a greater influence on their colleagues, students and in their communities.”
A complete list of this year’s grantees can be accessed at the U.S. Department of Education website.