What is a TSL Grant?

The Teacher and School Leader (TSL) Incentive Program, formerly known as the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF), is a three-year education grant program funded by the US Department of Education designed to award teachers, principals and other school leaders serving in high-need schools who raise student academic achievement and seek to close the gap between higher and lower performing students.

Purpose of Program

TSL is a discretionary grant program that exists to assist eligible educators in developing, implementing, improving, or expanding comprehensive Performance-Based Compensation Systems (PBCS) or Human Capital Management Systems (HCMS). TSL aims to drive improvement in a district’s HCMS for increased educator effectiveness and promotes comprehensive evaluation and support systems for all educators within an LEA, especially those employed in high-need schools. Additionally, the program seeks to study the fairness, quality, consistency, and reliability of PBCS or HCMS.

What is a High-Need School?

A high-need school is one with 50% or more of its enrollment from low-income families, based on eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch subsidies under the National School Lunch Act or Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) data.

How is the TSL Program Evaluated?

  • Percentage of teachers and leaders rated effective or higher
  • Percentage of teachers and leaders across the LEA(s) that show student growth improvement in their evaluation
  • Percentage of teachers and leaders within the TSL-schools that show student growth improvement, over the previous year, in their evaluation
  • Percentage of teachers and leaders in TSL-schools for whom evaluations were used for recruitment, hiring, placement, retention, dismissal, professional development, tenure, promotion
  • Percentage of teachers and leaders in the LEA(s) who earned performance-based compensation based on their individual evaluation
  • Percentage of teachers and leaders in TSL-schools who earned performance-based compensation on their individual evaluation ratings
  • Percentage of teachers receiving performance-based compensation
  • Percentage of leaders receiving performance-based compensation
  • Percentage of teachers receiving performance-based compensation for leadership responsibilities

Who is Eligible to Participate in the TSL Grant Program?

Local Education Agencies (LEA), State Education Agencies (SEAs), and non-profits in partnership with SEAs.

Research Associates' Impact:

Research Associates has helped to secure over $86 million in funded education grants for teacher and leader effectiveness initiatives including TSL program. Impacted schools include:

  • 23,210 students in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia
  • 1,799 educators
  • 46 schools across 4 districts

Contact the Grant Experts:

Could your schools qualify for funding? To find out more about program requirements and eligibility, contact our knowledgeable team at Research Associates.