Meeting the Challenges of Fiscal and Programmatic Sustainability: Lessons from Teacher Incentive Fund Grantees. The Harvesting ProjectReport as inadecuate

Meeting the Challenges of Fiscal and Programmatic Sustainability: Lessons from Teacher Incentive Fund Grantees. The Harvesting Project - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Center for Educator Compensation Reform

A total of 33 sites, including states, school districts, charter school coalitions, and other education organizations make up Cohorts 1 and 2 of the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF). These sites received funds beginning in the fall of 2006 and spring of 2007 to redesign compensation programs for teachers and principals. The U.S. Department of Education named a third cohort of TIF grantees on September 23, 2010. TIF grantees have confronted numerous challenges as they have worked to design and implement new performance-based compensation programs. These challenges include effectively engaging and communicating with stakeholders, developing a set of measures to assess teacher and principal effectiveness, and ensuring that data quality procedures are in place for such high-stakes decisions. As Cohort 1 and 2 grantees near the end of their five-year Federal funding period, fiscally and programmatically sustaining TIF programs has become a top priority. This paper describes the ways in which TIF grantees have approached fiscal and programmatic sustainability. The paper draws from multiple sources, including TIF program monitoring reports, Center for Educator Compensation Reform (CECR) technical assistance notes, grantees' internal and external evaluations, and interviews with selected grantees. The authors reviewed and analyzed these data with an eye toward shedding light on the following issues: (1) What fiscal and programmatic sustainability challenges have TIF grantees faced?; (2) What approaches to fiscal and programmatic sustainability have grantees taken?; and (3) What lessons can grantees learn about sustaining performance-based compensation systems in the current economic climate? This paper uses named grantees in describing examples of sustainability efforts. A few examples also use non-TIF sites that have developed innovative new compensation programs. Wherever the authors use examples, they are illustrative, not exhaustive, as the particular historic, economic, and political context of each district offers nuanced challenges and solutions. One goal of the brief is to share what has worked for some grantees as a means of helping Cohort 1 and 2 grantees sustain performance-based compensation after their grants end. Another aim is to help new TIF grantees develop their programs with an eye toward sustainability. Before beginning to answer the three focus questions that frame this paper, the authors first take up the issue of defining "fiscal" and "programmatic" sustainability. A list of data sources is provided. (Contains 4 tables and 5 footnotes.

Descriptors: Teaching (Occupation), Compensation (Remuneration), Incentive Grants, Program Development, Sustainability, Fiscal Capacity, Performance Based Assessment, Educational Finance, Technical Assistance, School Culture, Charter Schools, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Evaluation, Program Effectiveness, Economic Impact

Center for Educator Compensation Reform. Tel: 888-202-1513; e-mail: cecr[at]; Web site:

Author: Schuermann, Patrick; Archibald, Sarah; Kluender, Ray; Ptak, Kirsten


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