Disqus

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Costs of TIF (Teacher Incentive Fund)

Update: Apologies - the slides, if you look at them, are for a TWO-year period and not one as you might have assumed just reading the thread.

So I put up the links to the Powerpoint for the Board Work Session on the Budget. But then I notice this other link to some slides on TIF. I was not there when this was discussed (if it was) but I am dumbfounded because sure we want to reward good teachers if they move to a low-performing, high need school.

But the costs for all the managing of this? Sadly, the slides don't feature a total but I added it up: in total, for recruiting, mentoring, support, evaluation/assessment, recognize/reward/retain and "other", it's $3,837,959.

For the recruiting fees for high performing teachers to move to a low-performing school, it's $25k (@$2500 per teacher). For the stipend for teachers in Level One schools who meet evaluation requirements, it's $450k. For the recognize/reward/retain, it's $450k.

So add the merit pay together and it's $925,000. Out of over $3.8M.

It is hard to say if that ratio merits the program. The overhead includes 7 new positions (not to mention the work for employees we already have). It also includes some teacher/principal professional development. Is this in addition or in place of what they would have gotten?

I'm sorry but this all seems like a lot of churn to get better results.

Why can't we provide our teachers/principals with the supports THEY ask for? Teachers know what they need and it surely can't be any more expensive than TIF. I have to believe most teachers would want to be listened to and given the supports they ask for rather than money for themselves if they do it the way the district thinks will improve outcomes.

Yes, I know we have a TIF grant and money in the supplemental levy (although I'm thinking that money should be used for the gap now) now but what about later? I guess we can try this experiment on someone else's dime but it makes me shake my head.

Something of a rant, sorry, but I just don't get it.

10 comments:

Charlie Mas said...

Like the Board, I would really like a clear accounting of the costs of various initiatives, such as TIF. The actual pricetags for things are either hidden or scattered or both. How can anyone make any decisions about these things without that information? And if they have that information, why can't they provide it?

Bird said...

$3,837,959 for what is, essentially, an experiment.

The goal for TIF would be to boost achievement and narrow the achievement gap.

There are no guarantees that this will happen.

Under the current fiscal climate, can we really afford multi-million dollar experiments?

Scale it way, way back then prove it works. Then expand it if shows any success.

Dorothy Neville said...

This sort of clarity is what the board asked for in the various data sets to guide the budget process. I have watched the questions and answers evolve. Continued obfuscation but continued pushback from the board. The answers have gotten marginally better, but there is still a long way to go.

Don finally got fed up and has started to get touchy, saying that his staff can no longer respond to all these queries because they have work to do -- working to deal with the budget crisis. So what I do not understand -- and have not heard clearly articulated from the board -- is that the data that the board has asked for is Exactly! the data one would need in order to understand the budget and to make informed decisions how to proceed. So this collection of data for the board is not busy work, is not a distraction from their mission, but is their very mission.

Anonymous said...

AAARRGHH, I want to RANT too!

Sick of Scoffing

Maureen said...

I wonder what percentage of Central Staff time is spent working on TIF and other grant-funded programs? Is that fraction of administrative cost billed to the grants or is it covered by general fund money?

Charlie Mas said...

The staff's inability to provide a pricetag for these strategic initiatives makes it clear that they made decisions about these initiatives without that information.

That's beyond incompetent.

Maureen said...

Doesn't it seem as if filing a detailed budget would be a requirement of grant funding? I can't find that level of detail at the DOE TIF page, though you can read the abstract from Seattle's application there.

Kathy said...

$321K for 2 STAR mentors?

Seems excessively. Am I missing something?

Melissa Westbrook said...

You are missing something, Kathy, and it's my fault. This is for 2010-2012, two years, not one as you might have supposed.

Sorry, I remember thinking I needed to be sure to put that in because I thought it odd on the slide and then forgot.

Kathy said...

http://www.seattleschools.org/area/levy-info/201011_FAQs_web.pdf

So, the Levy allocates $16.5M, TIF $12.5M and SIG $6M for reform efforts.

Let's see what happens next.