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HARLINGEN — The school district here is enjoying another banner year of academic progress awarded with sizeable monetary incentives.
Earlier this week, the school district announced with great fanfare and celebration the full approval of its Teacher Incentive Allotment, or TIA. This is even more significant when you consider this is the second year in a row the district has received the TIA.
“We applied to join with our local designation system which is our way to identify highly effective teachers in the classroom,” said Erika Galvan, TIA specialist for the district.
“Through TIA, we are able to recruit teachers and reward the ones we already have.”
A designation is a distinction awarded to highly effective public school teachers. This year, the Harlingen district submitted 156 TIA designations and received a TIA of $3.1 million. Last year, 232 teachers were TIA approved for a total of $2.3 million. Teachers at high-performing campuses received monetary awards from the TIA ranging from $5,000 to $26,000.
“I think we got it because we put in systems and structures in place across the district to make sure that we are doing our best for data reliability and validity,” Galvan said. “We work really hard with our principals and our assistant principals to make sure their T test is calibrated and fair. We put in a lot of protocols on student testing to make sure that that data shows student growth appropriately.”
Teachers were brought to the board room Tuesday for the surprise announcement. Bowie Elementary Teacher Claudia Meyers was one of those teachers.
“This acknowledgment made me feel that my hard work and dedication impacted the lives of our students as well as our community,” Meyers said.
Carmen Lopez at Treasure Hills Elementary said much the same thing.
“I feel blessed to be able to receive this TIA designation,” said Lopez, who teaches fourth grade.
“I’m more proud of my kids than anything for showing so much growth throughout the year,” she said. “That’s always our hope as teachers.”
Harlingen Superintendent J.A. Gonzalez congratulated the teachers and the district at Tuesday’s board meeting.
“The State is recognizing your hard work,” Gonzalez said. “This district, this board, everybody in here is rallying around you all, and I am proud to say that once again, Harlingen CISD is approved for the Teacher Incentive Allotment.”