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Killeen ISD confident of teacher incentive program despite state budget shortfall

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 9:20 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Killeen ISD is laying the groundwork for a new teacher incentive program.

The Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) offers teachers an extra $3,000 or more per year for teachers that meet certain criteria.

The funding is part of House Bill 3 passed by state lawmakers last session; but with the current budget shortfall, some teachers are concerned that the program could be cut.

The teachers will need to meet certain achievements and criteria to qualify, including teaching at a “high needs campus,” one with lower socioeconomic status or that’s considered rural.

The funding is only guaranteed through this school year. Which is why Rick Beaule with the Killeen educators association says we should be cautious with expectations.

“It’s the best of intentions, but whether or not it happens is another question entirely,” he said.

“We need to wait and see what form it’s going to take. Funding could be a concern. It has the potential to be something that could bring improvements to teacher’s salaries and students achievement, which is always the goal. However, how that happens and which forms those incentives take and the requirements to get to them still needs to be determined.”

Killeen ISD is the latest district in our area to implement the program. Dr. Nicole Koch with the district says its money teachers deserve, no matter what the current budget shortfall is.

“We’re confident that this program will maintain funding and we’re just really excited for the opportunity to help teachers earn more money,” she said.

“We know they work really hard every day and we’re excited to offer this to them.”

The ultimate goal for the teacher incentive allotment is a six figure salary for every educator in the state so that districts can retain top talent.

More information on the program can be found on the district’s website.

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