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Secretary Spellings Announces $1.4 Million Grant to University of Texas System to Reward Effective Teaching


U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today announced a $1,438,787 million grant to the University of Texas System to provide financial incentives to teachers and principals who improve student achievement and close achievement gaps in high-poverty schools. The Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant will also be used to recruit effective teachers to those schools, particularly for hard-to-staff subjects like math, science and special education. This grant to the University of Texas System is expected to be funded for five years for a total of approximately $25.5 million.

“If we expect results for every child, as we do with No Child Left Behind, then we must support teachers who get the job done in America’s toughest classrooms,” said Secretary Spellings. “These grants will help encourage our most effective teachers to work in challenging schools where they can make a real difference in the lives of young people.”

Secretary Spellings today presented the award to University of Texas System Chancellor Mark Yudof at Richardson Independent School District’s Audelia Creek Elementary School in Dallas, Texas. Congressman Pete Sessions joined Secretary Spellings for the event.

“I’m honored to be able to join Secretary Spellings today to present the UT System with this Teacher Incentive Fund grant,” said Congressman Sessions. “Ensuring that all students throughout Texas and the nation have the opportunity to learn from motivated, highly qualified teachers is one off the greatest gifts we can give our young people.”

The University of Texas System will use the grant to implement the Milken Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) to attract talented people to the teaching profession by making it more enticing and rewarding to be an educator, specifically in 27 high-needs schools in Texas.

“This generous grant from the U.S. Department of Education will be a tremendous boost for our efforts to foster teaching excellence in public school classrooms across this state,” said UT System Chancellor Mark Yudof. “This program aims to recruit, develop and retain some of the state’s most gifted teachers in important disciplines such as math and science, and assures that their students will be better prepared with the requisite knowledge and skills for future achievement.”

The Teacher Incentive Fund program is President Bush’s initiative to develop and implement performance-based teacher and principal compensation systems in high-need, disadvantaged schools, where at least 30 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. The goals of the program are to improve student achievement by rewarding effective principals and teachers, and, at the same time, increase the number of effective teachers serving minority and disadvantaged students. The Department is awarding 18 five-year TIF grants for a total of $38,248,518 in their first year.

For more information about the Teacher Incentive Fund, visit


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