Districts invited to participate in Maine’s TIF 4 grant application

UPDATED: School districts that are interested but do not think they can make the Friday, July 13 deadline should contact Scott Harrison by Friday to give notice of their interest and discuss plans for submission.

As Commissioner Stephen Bowen announced last week at the annual Superintendents’ Conference, and based on the strong indication of interest by superintendents in attendance, the Department will work with school districts to apply for the current Teacher Incentive Fund 4 grant cycle.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Education has placed an extremely short (July 27) deadline on applications. Despite the short window of opportunity, if the response from districts is as strong as it seemed it would be, we will proceed with the application.

Maine DOE encourages interested school districts to notify us by next Friday, July 13.

The Maine Department of Education has partnered with the American Institutes for Research to apply for the 2012 Teacher Incentive Fund 4 grant opportunity. The TIF program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, intends to “provide financial support to develop and implement sustainable performance-based compensation systems (PBCSs) for teachers, principals and other personnel in high-need schools in order to increase educator effectiveness and student achievement in those schools.” It emphasizes the creation of strong district-wide teacher and principal evaluation systems that incorporate student growth measures in a significant way and inform human capital management decisions such as hiring, retention, compensation, professional development, promotion and tenure.

Maine DOE and AIR invite Maine districts to apply to participate in this joint proposal for TIF 4 funding.

District participation requires:

  • A five-year commitment to the TIF program in partnership with the Department and AIR
  • Joint design and implementation (with other districts and the Department) of a performance evaluation system for teachers and principals that is  anchored on the National Board’s Core Propositions and standards for accomplished teaching and leading. (We are interested in building on our successful partnership with NBPTS.)
  • Implementation of a performance-based compensation system in some or all of the district’s high-need schools, defined in the TIF application as:
    • Schools with at least 50 percent of student enrollment from low-income families using the free and reduced-price lunch criteria or comparable poverty measures
    • Schools that are among the lowest-achieving five percent Title I schools in the state
  • Demonstrated educator support of and participation in the development and implementation of the TIF program
  • Willingness to travel to and collaborate with neighboring districts, Maine DOE and AIR

Districts interested in participating in the Maine TIF 4 grant application should submit the following materials to Scott Harrison, Maine Schools for Excellence project manager, by Friday, July 13:

1) Letter of interest describing:

  • Overall student demographics for the district
  • The current state of development and/or implementation of performance evaluation, compensation and human capital management systems in the district
  • Strengths the district brings to this collaborative endeavor with other Maine districts, the Department and AIR
  • Statement of what the district hopes to gain from participation

2) List of high-need schools within the district, with supporting demographic information (at least 50 percent free and reduced-price lunch or among the five percent lowest-achieving Title I schools in the state)

3) A signed letter of support from local union leadership

The deadline for submission of all materials to Maine DOE is 5 p.m., Friday, July 13, 2012. The Department and AIR will review all districts’ applications at this time and may follow up with individual districts for additional information.

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