The Teacher Incentive Fund grant program (TIF) was established to support efforts to develop and implement performance-based compensation systems (PBCS) for teachers and principals in high-need schools. This appropriation made $100 million available for competitive grants and related U.S. Department of Education (Department) provided activities such as technical assistance, peer review of applications, and evaluation activities.
Overall, OIG’s audit determined that the Department could improve the effectiveness of TIF program implementation, grant proposal evaluation and awarding processes, and program oversight. Specifically, OIG noted that the Department did not always effectively apply Congressional intent and the Department’s internal guidance in its implementation of the TIF program, could more effectively determine applicant competence and responsibility prior to making awards, funded applications that did not fully meet the Department’s absolute priorities for the competitions, and funded applications containing weaknesses that could be detrimental to program implementation or sustainability.
In addition, OIG noted that the Department did not always ensure that recipients met applicable requirements prior to making continuation awards and that implementation of funded applications was consistent with recipient proposals.