Skip to Content

Teacher Leadership and Compensation System


On this page...

Teacher Leadership and Compensation logoThe Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) System rewards effective teachers with leadership opportunities and higher pay, attracts promising new teachers with competitive starting salaries and more support, and fosters greater collaboration for all teachers to learn from each other.

The overriding philosophy of the system is multi-pronged, but boils down to this: Improving student learning requires improving the instruction they receive each day. There is no better way to do this than to empower our best teachers to lead the effort.

Through the system, teacher leaders take on extra responsibilities, including helping colleagues analyze data and fine tune instructional strategies as well as coaching and co-teaching.

Bipartisan legislation created a four-year process to fully develop the statewide Teacher Leadership and Compensation System, with the goal of all school districts voluntarily participating by the 2016-17 school year. The Iowa General Assembly approved $50 million for the first year of implementation. In each subsequent year through 2016-17, another $50 million will be added to the system for a total of $150 million per year.

The goals of the Teacher Leadership and Compensation System are:

  • Attract able and promising new teachers by offering competitive starting salaries and offering short-term and long-term professional development and leadership opportunities.
  • Retain effective teachers by providing enhanced career opportunities.
  • Promote collaboration by developing and supporting opportunities for teachers in schools and school districts statewide to learn from each other.
  • Reward professional growth and effective teaching by providing pathways for career opportunities that come with increased leadership responsibilities and involve increased compensation.
  • Improve student achievement by strengthening instruction.

All Iowa school districts applied for planning grants to support the local development of Teacher Leadership and Compensation plans. As of March 2016 all 333 Iowa school districts have been approved to implement a local teacher leadership system. The applications were reviewed and scored by the twenty members of the Commission on Educator Leadership and Compensation, which was created to oversee the implementation of the Teacher Leadership and Compensation System.

This Department of Education wishes to acknowledge the essential role played by Iowa’s Area Education Associations, statewide professional organizations, and local school districts. Their partnership, collaboration and hard work has been instrumental in helping reach this milestone. Additionally, the Department would like to acknowledge the hundreds of hours Commission members spent reviewing and scoring applications to ensure each district starts with a strong plan.

TLC Documents and Resources

Guidance on the Iowa Teacher Leadership and Compensation System

Teacher Leadership System Design Resources

TLC System Application FAQs (2015-07-21)

TLC System Implementation FAQs (2015-07-21)

TLC System – Framework for Learning Supports (2014-08-01)

TLC System – Launching Teacher Leadership (2014-04-18)

Supporting Teacher Leadership Programs (Iowa AEAs) (2014-04-04)

TLC Plan Changes

Starting July 1, 2016 TLC Plan Change approvals will come directly from Becky Slater.

How does a district submit a request to change its TLC plan?
School districts wishing to amend their TLC Plan should submit changes using the TLC Plan Change Request Form. A separate form should be filled out and submitted for each change being requested. Districts are asked to describe the change, the rationale for the change, and the level of support for the change. Support documents that don't fit within the form (e.g., budget spreadsheets) should be emailed to Becky Slater at All changes will be approved by Director Wise.

When do districts need to submit a change request?
If the paper TLC plan and enacted TLC plan no longer align a change request needs to be submitted to account for that difference. In other words, if someone were walking through your district with your TLC plan in their hands would what is on the paper align to what they see? If not, a change request needs to be submitted. Additionally, any changes made to Part 8 of the grant including measures used to monitor the impact/effectiveness of the TLC plan this will need to be submitted.

What changes have districts made?
TLC Plan Revisions (2016-10-19) - This document lists change requests and outcomes that have been made by districts. The document will be updated periodically throughout the year.

TLC Evaluation

The central focus of the Department’s evaluation plan is on ensuring the TLC system achieves the goals of attracting and retaining effective teachers, promoting collaboration, rewarding professional growth and effective teaching, and improving student achievement by strengthening instruction. Our approach to evaluation includes four components: BEDS analysis, plan change tracker, end of year report, and external support.

TLC Online Community (Agora)

link to TLC Online Community (Agora) iconThe TLC Online Community (Agora) brings teacher leaders and administrators from across the state together to collaborate about school improvement and the teacher leadership compensation system. Navigate the community as a guest or enroll in the community to sign up for notifications and participate in activities.

AEA Contacts

AEA Contact Email Phone
Keystone AEA 1 Tesha Ruley 563-245-1480
AEA 267 Amy Moine 319-268-7658
Prairie Lakes AEA 8 Jaymie Randel 515-325-6085
Mississippi Bend AEA 9 Nicole Peterson 563-344-6487
Grant Wood AEA 10 Kris Donnelly 319-399-6783
Grant Wood AEA 10 Kim Owen 319-399-6803
Heartland AEA 11 Kevin Fangman 515-270-9030
Heartland AEA 11 Wendy Robinson 515-270-9030
Northwest AEA Katy Evenson 712-222-6000
Green Hills AEA Terri Bush 712-366-0503
Great Prairie AEA Anne Morgan 641-682-8591

TLC Selection Process and Results

Archived Documents

TLC Exemplars - Districts Over 1000

TLC Exemplars - Districts Under 1000

TLC Application Instructions - (2015-05-27)

Map of TLC Accepted School Districts by Year (2015-05-12)

TLC Plan Application (2014-06-19)

TLC Plan Application Scoring Rubric (2014-06-19)

Cohort 3 Application Process Updates (2015-05-27)

2015-2016 TLC Budget Estimate (2014-08-21)

Number of TLC Applications by AEA/School District Size - Year 1

TLC Executive Summaries - Approved School Districts - Year 1

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on October 25, 2016 at 9:13am.