Teacher Incentive Fund

CFDA Number: 84.374A and 84.374B
Program Type: Discretionary Grants
Also known as: Teacher Incentive

What’s New

FY 2018
There were no new competitions for the TIF or TSL programs during FY 2018.

FY 2017 Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program Grant Competition

The U.S. Department of Education is pleased to announce the launch of the FY 2017 Teacher and School Leader (TSL) Incentive Program competition. The TSL program builds on the former Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) program and promotes performance-based compensation and comprehensive human capital management systems for teachers, principals, and other school leaders. For general information about this program and competition, information about the pre-application webinar, and information on how to apply, visit the TSL grant program page.

FY 2016 Awards

The U.S. Department of Education awarded 13 new grants under the FY 2016 Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) competition. These awards total $70,269,506 for the first project year. These projects will be implemented over a five year period. TIF funding will provide grantees with the opportunity to promote effective teaching through the development of human capital management systems and the use of performance-based compensation.

For more information about these awards, visit the Awards page.

Program Description

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.


The TIF program uses performance-based compensation and related supports for educators to catalyze improvements in a district’s human capital management system to drive increased student outcomes. By providing educators with performance-based compensation, including robust career ladder opportunities and a range of related educator supports–such as peer-to-peer coaching and job-embedded professional development–the TIF program aims to improve student outcomes by increasing educators’ effectiveness.

The 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. Based on the core premise that educators have the greatest impact on student learning across various in-school factors, TIF awards competitive grants to States, districts, or partnerships with non-profit organizations.

TIF grantees have used federal funding to develop and fund teacher leadership positions and incentivize teachers to serve in high-need schools. Projects have included: teacher career pathway programs that diversified 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.

To Learn More about TIF 5 Projects.