Tennessee is giving two Mid-state school systems millions of dollars in grants to reward teachers whose students excel.
The Putnam County School District is receiving $3.1 million and Trousdale County schools just over $1 million to help design new salary systems.
Teachers in Tennessee public schools are currently paid based on length of service and whether or not they have graduate degrees. With the grant money, the schools may provide both new base salaries as well as performance and retention bonuses to teachers whose students thrive.
Putnam County Schools Director Dr. Kathleen Airhart said in her experience, teachers whose students did well would consistently leave for more lucrative jobs. She hopes this will make the recruitment and retention process more successful.
Putnam and Trousdale counties were among the four grant recipients announced today. More school systems are still expected to receive grants in the coming months. The money is part of the federal “Race to the Top” funding Tennessee won last year.