Texas teacher salaries largely lag behind the national average

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) today announced 1,600 newly designated teachers are being recognized and rewarded for their outstanding performance in the classroom as part of the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA).  

Made possible by the passage of House Bill 3 during the 86th Legislative Session, the Teacher Incentive Allotment provides a pathway for high-performing teachers to earn six-figure salaries while enabling districts in rural and high-needs areas to recruit and retain highly effective teachers on their campuses. 

Since 2019, TIA has allocated $138.7 million in additional funding to school systems across Texas. During the 2021-22 school year, approximately $55.5 million was distributed towards teacher compensation for more than six thousand Recognized, Exemplary, or Master designated teachers.   

“Our challenge has been recruitment because it can be difficult to offer a competitive salary as a rural district,” said Coupland ISD Superintendent Tammy Brinkman. “This past year, I had to fill ten new teaching positions, and I was concerned about whether I could find the high-quality teachers our district needed. I am thrilled to share that I was able to fill every single one of them with amazing teachers who were all extremely excited about having the opportunity to work and earn extra compensation through TIA.” 

“Right now, we’re seeing a nationwide movement to increase teachers’ salaries, which is not just necessary, but very justified,” said Slaton ISD Assistant Band Director Trey Gossett. “And for the state and even our school district to step up and make TIA available to the faculty here is a big deal. Being a teacher requires a lot of hours, and you don’t always feel like you’re getting paid for the amount of work you put into it, and [TIA] has been a really nice reward for that work.” 

Now in its fourth year, a total of 373 districts across all 20 ESC regions are actively participating in TIA, 29 of which were fully approved during the 2021-22 school year. Of the districts participating in TIA, nearly 50% are considered rural.  

For districts to be approved for a Local Designation System, they must undergo a multi-year application process. The process starts with system development and an application that must pass statutory and regulatory requirements, followed by a full year of implementation to capture teacher performance data. Districts then submit their data to be validated by Texas Tech University and holistically reviewed by TEA for full system approval.  

For more information on the Teacher Incentive Allotment and a complete list of participating school systems, please visit: tiatexas.org.