TIA Newsletter January 2024: What is Cityscape’s TIA Spending Plan?

  • Post published:January 9, 2024
  • Reading time:5 mins read

During the district’s TIA steering committee meetings, input was gathered on the development of the TIA spending plan. The steering committee is comprised of the superintendent, district chief officers, principals, assistant principals, instructional coaches, and teachers, who all played an important role in decision-making processes.

While each district makes its own determination on how to distribute TIA funds to teachers, Texas Education Code 48.112 specifies “at least 90 percent of each allotment be used for compensation of teachers employed at the campus at which the teacher for whom the district received the allotment is employed.” The remaining 10 percent may be used by the district for “costs associated with implementing (TIA), including efforts to support teachers in obtaining designations.” Districts will make individual decisions regarding how the TIA funds will be distributed between the teacher earning the designation and the other teachers assigned to his or her campus. 

Cityscape’s TIA steering committee determined that 90 percent should be provided directly to the teacher of record, who will earn their TIA distinction through a rigorous formula of excellence in the classroom combined with excellence in student achievement.  Therefore, Cityscape Schools will provide 90 percent of the TIA funds directly to the teacher who earned a TIA designation and reserve the remaining 10 percent of the funds to support the TIA initiative at the district level.  As the law dictates, district TIA funds will only be used for costs associated with implementing the TIA, including efforts to support teachers in obtaining designations. The steering committee wanted to utilize the entire 10 percent to financially support appropriate training, professional development, measurement tools, and all other necessary components to assist teachers in reaching a TIA level of distinction.

Don’t Forget:

Attendance Plays an Important Role in Cityscape’s TIA Plan

There are numerous studies on the negative effects of teacher absenteeism, including a 2014 study by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), that reveal poor teacher attendance can be a significant challenge for a school district. Many studies have pointed to a significant correlation between poor teacher attendance and low student achievement, even when teachers miss as few as 10 days a year.

Therefore, Cityscape’s TIA steering committee discussed placing teacher attendance as a third weighted measure in the district’s TIA formula for earning a distinction. Many committee members were adamant that they wanted teacher attendance included in the district TIA plan as a best practice to deter and reduce absences among the instructional staff. All agreed on the subject’s importance in creating a school climate where attendance is valued by students and teachers, alike. 

The committee agreed that investing in a system that keeps effective teachers in the classroom should be a priority for the district.

A key part of that effort is creating a school climate in which consistent teacher attendance is the norm.

Therefore, the decision was made to use teacher attendance as a prerequisite to qualify for a TIA distinction.  If a teacher misses more than the allotment outlined below, they will not qualify for a TIA distinction, no matter their T-TESS and MAP/CIRCLE student growth scores. 

The attendance standards listed below represent the district requirements for a Cityscape teacher to earn one of the three teacher designation levels: 

Recognized – no more than 8 absences

Exemplary – no more than 5 absences

Master – no more than 3 absences

*These absences do not include legally protected days (e.g., FMLA, bereavement days


Out of over 1200 ISDs and charter school districts, only 346 are receiving TIA funds.  It is an HONOR to be one of those districts!


TIA funding was built into Texas state law as part of House Bill 3 during the 86th Texas Legislature. It is a Tier 1 allotment through the Foundation School Program (FSP), the system through which the state provides funding to districts. This system, grounded in the Texas Education Code, creates a sustainable funding source for districts implementing TIA.