Teacher Incentive Fund



Discretionary Grants


This program provides funding for projects that develop and implement performance-based teacher and principal compensation systems in high-need schools. Performance-based compensation systems must consider gains in student academic achievement as well as classroom evaluations conducted multiple times during each school year among other factors and provide educators with incentives to take on additional responsibilities and leadership roles. The purpose of the TIF program is to support the use of performance-based compensation, and other human capital strategies that enhance and sustain performance-based compensation, in order to increase students’ access to effective educators in high-need schools, and to expand the array of promising approaches that can help these educators and other personnel succeed.

Types of Projects

The former TIF program has funded 131 projects to improve pay structures, reward effective teachers and principals and provide greater professional opportunities to educators in high poverty schools. The projects have served over 2,000 schools in more than 300 urban, suburban, and rural school districts in 36 states and Washington, D.C.

TSL will continue to award competitive grants to States, districts, or partnerships with non-profit organizations based on the core premise that educators have the greatest impact on student learning across various in-school factors. TSL grantees will use federal funding to develop and fund teacher leadership positions and incentivize teachers to serve in high-need schools. Projects may include:

  • Teacher career pathway programs that diversify roles in the teaching force;
  • Teacher career pathways that recognize, develop, and reward excellent teachers as they advance through various career stages;
  • Incentives for effective teachers who take on instructional leadership roles within their schools;
  • Incentives that attract, support, reward, and retain the most effective teachers and administrators at high-need schools;
  • Rigorous, ongoing leadership development training for teacher leaders and principals, leadership roles for teachers aimed at school turnaround; and
  • The creation of new salary structures based on effectiveness.

Contact Information

  • Gillian Cohen-Boyer, Program Manager
    Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program, OESE
    U.S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Ave SW
    Washington D.C. 20202