Slocum schools recently gained approval from the Texas Education Agency for a new performance-based incentive program called the Teacher Incentive Allotment. Slocum Independent School District teachers who earn TIA designations can make up to $20,000 above their regular salaries.

Slocum schools have several teachers eligible for retirement who may be motivated to stay in the classroom beyond the current school year if they choose to participate in the program. The higher incomes that result can significantly boost educators’ pensions from the Teacher Retirement System and motivate them to stay in the profession longer.

Benefits of the incentives are many. As teachers participate in personal and professional development student achievement improves significantly.

The incentives can be earned by teachers who have taught as few as three years or as many as 25 years.

With roughly 350 Kindergarten through 12th grade students and about 35 full-time teachers, Slocum is one of Anderson County’s smallest districts. The district hopes to remain competitive in retaining and recruiting teachers amid the current teacher shortage.

The TEA’s approval of Slocum ISD’s local allotments allows the district to implement its supplemental incentive program.

Slocum ISD appointed a TIA committee in 2019 to explore benefits of the program. One result was the decision to seek approval from TEA to use local funds to allow teachers to earn an initial payment while working toward a TIA designation. 

"This has been a long process that started in August of 2019,” said Slocum Superintendent Cliff Lasiter. “We are excited to see all of the hard work that went into developing this program finally paying off for our teachers both now and for years to come.”

The Texas Legislature created the TIA program as part of House Bill 3 to provide competitive salaries to help school districts attract and retain highly effective teachers. Slocum schools are using the incentives to persuade some teachers who are eligible for retirement to stay in the profession.

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