Today, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced the availability of more than $368 million in new grant opportunities through the Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program and the Teacher and School Leader (TSL) Incentive program that advance investments in teacher recruitment and retention. These investments particularly prioritize promoting educator diversity and career advancement and leadership opportunities for effective educators tied to increased compensation.
“Teachers shape thriving individuals and communities, as well as the future of our nation. Now more than ever, we need more innovative approaches to supporting the return and retention of outstanding, well-prepared, well-supported educators who meet the needs and reflect the diversity of their students,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education James Lane. “These funds will catalyze more of these approaches in schools across the country.”
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has announced several actions to Raise the Bar in illustrating the Department’s commitment to transform P-12 education and unite around what is effective—based on decades of experience and research—and advance educational equity and excellence. As part of our Raise the Bar efforts to boldly improve learning conditions, the Department is working to eliminate the educator shortage at every public school and support the educator workforce. The grant opportunities announced today are part of that effort and specifically invest in teacher leadership and career advancement, improved compensation, and teacher diversity—three key strategies the Department is utilizing to eliminate educator shortages.
The FY 2023 TSL grant competition is designed to support entities in implementing, improving, or expanding their human capital management, or expanding their performance-based compensation systems. Priorities used in this competition advance the Department’s goal to eliminate educator shortages, including through effective teacher retention efforts such as career advancement opportunities for teachers and improving teacher diversity. The FY 2023 EIR grant competition funds projects that test, replicate, and scale evidence-based practices, and this year’s competition includes priorities for improving educator recruitment and retention. This includes competitive compensation systems; providing more time for planning and collaboration; increasing access to leadership opportunities that can lead to higher pay and improved retention for fully certified, experienced, and effective educators; and expanding the impact of great teachers within and beyond their classrooms. It also supports improving educator diversity.
Teacher leadership models provide experienced and effective teachers with leadership opportunities that allow them to have a greater impact on their school communities while remaining in the classroom and being compensated for taking on additional responsibilities. These leadership opportunities support academic success for students while creating career ladders that support teacher retention. Increasing the diversity of the educator workforce so that it reflects the diversity of our students is tied to improved student performance and, by expanding the pool of future teachers, is critical to eliminating shortages.
To support applicants in applying for these grant opportunities, the Department offers a series of resources, including pre-applicant webinars to provide technical assistance available online at: https://oese.ed.gov/offices/office-of-discretionary-grants-support-services/.
The EIR program helps the field design, scale, and validate programs that can help solve education’s most pressing problems. The program is rooted in innovation and is not intended to provide support for practices that are already commonly implemented by educators. Instead, by investing in new and innovative educational programs and practices, EIR grants can help to overcome the persistent and significant challenges to student success. Evaluations under this program are evaluated, and if they can demonstrate sufficient evidence of effectiveness, these innovations can be replicated and tested in new populations and settings.
Applicants may propose projects such as: STEM education, including computer science, that expand opportunities for high-need students; high-quality projects that center social and emotional learning; or projects that address improving supports for educators to enhance the ability of schools to recruit and retain staff. Applicants also may propose projects that increase access to leadership opportunities that can lead to increased pay and improved retention for fully certified, experienced, and effective educators, while expanding the impact of great teachers within and beyond their classrooms. Projects may support the recruitment and retention of all school staff or specific staff with acute recruitment and retention challenges. For more information on the FY 2023 EIR competition, visit FY 2023 Competition - Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The TSL program supports entities in implementing, improving, or expanding their overall human capital management system, which, by definition, must include a performance-based compensation system. The TSL program primarily serves educators in high-need schools who raise student academic achievement and close the achievement gap between high- and low-performing students, although the program may also fund services for educators serving in high-need subject areas (though not necessarily in high-need schools), as determined by the local educational agency or the state. Applicants also must address how they will support career advancement opportunities for educators.
For more information on TSL, visit Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program - Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.