In 2019 the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 3, which created the Teach Incentive Allotment (TIA) and was designed to incentivize teachers to work in low social-economic and rural schools. The TIA works to identify teachers that are eligible to receive one of three distinctions: Recognized, Exemplary, and Master. Based on our district’s rural status, funding for each distinction is as follows: Recognized-$6,284, Exemplary-$12,568, and Master-$22,947. Rochelle ISD was the first school district (out of the 44 districts) in ESC Region 15 schools to apply for this program. Today, Rochelle is one of the 127 school districts (out of 1,200 school districts in the state) that have been fully approved for funding. The application process required approval from the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and our evaluation system was assessed independently by Texas Tech University (TTU).
The process began with teachers, administrators, and community members meeting and creating a plan to help retain teachers and to reward teachers on campus for the efforts. Administratorssoon learned that the application process was much more involved than we were initially led to believe. Coming up with a plan for our teachers was easy, but conveying that plan to TEA while following their submission requirements was much more difficult than expected. After numerous meetings with TEA and many adjustments, Rochelle ISD was notified in July of 2020that our application was accepted. The 2020-2021 school yearserved as a data collection year for RISD. Teachers worked diligently and mastered their use of Student Learning Objective (SLOs), curriculum assessments, and remediation strategies. Administrators had to calibrate and conduct evaluations that met the needed rigor so that TTU was able to verify and certify the distinctions that were given to each teacher.
The approval process for receiving the TIA is a rigorous and challenging process. Getting a single distinction wrong can result in full system disapproval (which would result in the loss of incentive funding for all teachers). This was made more challenging when TEA released a report that they predicted that only 5% of all teachers would be eligible to receive the highest distinction (Masters).
Data submissions along with evaluations were submitted to TTU in September of 2021. Since then we have patiently awaited the results. Those results were received on February 7, 2022. Rochelle ISD is proud to announce that we have three Master Teachers, two Exemplary Teachers, and one Recognized Teacher. The individual distinctions are Master Teachers: Kristi Lewis, Natanya Turk, and Jamie Fields; Exemplary Teachers: Angie King and Rex Ewert; and Recognized Teacher: Karen McWilliams.
Master Teachers will receive a check in the amount of $15,558.86 this year and $20,652.30 each year for the next four years. Exemplary teachers will receive $9,331.18 this year and $11,311.20 each year for the next four years. Recognized teachers will receive $5,560.78 this year and $5,655.60 each year for the next four years.
The Rochelle ISD board of trustees would like to thank Matthew Fields and all the teachers for their hard work and dedication to all students.