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Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program

CFDA Number: 84.374A and 84.374B
Program Type: Discretionary Grants
Also known as: TSL

What’s New

The U.S. Department of Education awarded 14 new grants under the FY 2017 Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program (TSL) competition. These awards total $88,058,069 for the first project year and will be implemented over a three year period. TSL funding will provide grantees with the opportunity to increase the effectiveness of teachers, principals, and other school leaders by developing, implementing, improving, and/or expanding performance-based compensation systems and human capital management systems.

For more information about these awards, visit the Awards page.

Program Description

The TSL program builds on the former Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) program and promotes performance-based compensation and comprehensive human capital management systems for teachers, principals, and other school leaders. Support of these systems in intended to catalyze improvements in a district’s human capital management system to drive increased student outcomes. In recognition of the importance that effective school leadership has on student achievement, TSL also promotes comprehensive Evaluation and Support Systems for all Educators within an LEA, especially those serving in high-need schools. By providing educators with performance-based compensation, including robust career ladder opportunities and a range of related educator supports–such as peer-to-peer coaching and job-embedded professional development–the TIF program aims to improve student outcomes by increasing educators’ effectiveness.


The former TIF program has funded 131 projects to improve pay structures, reward effective teachers and principals and provide greater professional opportunities to educators in high poverty schools. The projects have served over 2,000 schools in more than 300 urban, suburban, and rural school districts in 36 states and Washington, D.C.

TSL will continue to award competitive grants to States, districts, or partnerships with non-profit organizations based on the core premise that educators have the greatest impact on student learning across various in-school factors. TSL grantees will use federal funding to develop and fund teacher leadership positions and incentivize teachers to serve in high-need schools. Projects may include:

  • Teacher career pathway programs that diversify roles in the teaching force;
  • Teacher career pathways that recognize, develop, and reward excellent teachers as they advance through various career stages;
  • Incentives for effective teachers who take on instructional leadership roles within their schools;
  • Incentives that attract, support, reward, and retain the most effective teachers and administrators at high-need schools;
  • Rigorous, ongoing leadership development training for teacher leaders and principals, leadership roles for teachers aimed at school turnaround; and
  • The creation of new salary structures based on effectiveness.


TSL Program Manager
The Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program is administered by the Office of Innovation and Improvement through the Teacher Quality Programs Office.
Orman Feres
(202) 453-6921