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Longview ISD awarding more than $3.1 million in incentive pay for achieving teachers

Classroom teachers projected to earn over $100,000 in 2021-22 school year
Teachers earn over $3.1 million in incentive pay at Longview ISD
Teachers earn over $3.1 million in incentive pay at Longview ISD(kali9 | Longview ISD)
Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 2:49 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2021 at 3:14 PM CST
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LONGVIEW, Texas (News Release) - Longview ISD is awarding more than $3.1 million in incentive pay for achieving teachers, with a few of the very highest-performing teachers projected to receive more than $30,000 extra in their December paychecks.

We’re thrilled with the excellent progress all our teachers and staff are making with students across the entire district, despite unprecedented challenges to the delivery of instruction,” said Dr. James Wilcox, Superintendent of Schools.

Dr. Wilcox said the goal of the district in starting the program was to maintain our most successful and effective teachers in the regular classroom.

“We could not be more excited to see our teachers receive these dollar amounts,” he said. “But our students are the real winners!”

Dr. James Hockenberry, LISD Assistant Superintendent of District Services, explained that the district utilizes LISD’s aggressive local pay structures as well as the Longview Incentive For Teachers (LIFT) program, and the Texas Education Agency’s Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) funding sources to make this possible for our hard-working education professionals.

“The goal of the Teacher Incentive Allotment is to provide a realistic pathway to pay outstanding teachers six-figure salaries,” he said. “As such, it will dramatically improve the recruitment and retention of highly effective teachers and keep them in the classroom at our most challenging campuses.”

While the Texas Education Agency did not assign campus ratings or academic distinction designations to schools across the state, Dr. Hockenberry said enough data is available to calculate academic distinction designations using the state model and formulas for the 2020-21 school year.

As a result, the LIFT model calculations will be amended to include a slightly modified academic distinction designation model for the 2020-21 school year, and will add LISD’s kindergarten teachers to the LIFT Performance Award Model starting in the current school year. In addition, Dr. Hockenberry said appeals will now be addressed on a case-by-case basis and in a timely manner, not by the formal application of the current guidelines.

Longview ISD was ahead of the curve back in 2011, when trustees voted to implement a performance pay system for middle school reading and math teachers. Designed to help close the achievement gap between low socio-economic and middle-income students, today the LIFT Pay for Performance Program includes three award models, and has proven instrumental in retaining high-quality educators.

Incentive pay for Longview ISD teachers has increased dramatically since the $350,000 awarded in the first year of the program back in 2015.

“Our district is one of leadership and innovation,” added Dr. Wilcox. “We don’t follow the trends in education, we set them.”

Home to more than 8,000 students and 1,000 staff members, Longview ISD’s richly diverse student population reflects our wonderful city and the East Texas area in general.

But our educational offerings are just as diverse as our people, including everything from magnet charter school STEAM campuses to project-based learning, career technology programs, and state-of-the-art facilities.

Longview Independent School District is the only public school system in Texas that offers free Montessori education to all Head Start, Pre-K/Kindergarten students enrolled in the district, in addition to the world-renowned International Baccalaureate program offered free of charge at all district campuses.

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