South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Pittburgh Schools receive grant to reward improvements in student achievement


August 7, 2007

The Pittsburgh Public Schools has received a $1,472,016 grant to provide financial incentives to teachers and principals who improve student achievement and close achievement gaps in high-poverty schools according to U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.

The grant will also be used to recruit effective teachers to those schools, particularly for hard-to-staff subjects like math, science and special education. The grant is expected to be funded for five years for a total of some $7.4 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,” Secretary Spellings said. “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.”

“The Teacher Incentive Fund is a unique method of encouraging student achievement and supporting the teachers that make it happen.” Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) said. “I am pleased to see the Department of Education award this grant to the Pittsburgh School District to complement their existing Excellence for All initiative.”

The grant will fund a program that promotes school-wide achievement gains in the district's 64 schools, which is the second largest school system in the state. Pittsburgh Public Schools will collaborate with the district's Excellence for All initiative to implement the grant.

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. 


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