Skip to Content

Teacher Leadership and Compensation System


On this page...

The Teacher Leadership and Compensation 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 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 346 Iowa school districts applied for planning grants to support the local development of Teacher Leadership and Compensation plans. The deadline to submit an application to enter the system in the 2014-15 school year was January 31. The Department received 139 applications representing 146 school districts. 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.

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, enabling all districts to participate in the program if they choose. On March 3rd, the Department announced the selection of 39 school districts from around the state to participate in the first year of the system. The Department will support both school districts selected to participate in the first cohort as well as those planning for the second round of TLC applications.


TLC Documents

Guidance on the Iowa Teacher Leadership and Compensation System

Teacher Leadership System Design Resources

TLC System Application FAQs (2014-04-04)

TLC System Implementation FAQs (2014-09-04)

Iowa Teacher Leadership and Compensation System – Framework for Learning Supports – Draft – March 2014

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


AEA Contacts

AEA Contact Email Phone
Keystone AEA Pat Heiderscheit 563-245-1480
AEA 267 Kathy Enslin 319-273-8200
Prairie Lakes AEA Jeff Herzberg 712-335-3588
Mississippi Bend AEA Tom Micek 563-359-1371
Grant Wood AEA Jim Pedersen 319-399-6700
Heartland AEA Kevin Fangman 515-270-9030
Northwest AEA Jon Wibbels 712-222-6000
Green Hills AEA Lane Plugge 712-366-0503
Great Prairie AEA Anne Morgan 641-682-8591


Application Process

TLC Application Instructions -

TLC Plan Application (updated 2013-12-16)

TLC Plan Application Scoring Rubric


Webinar Recordings and Presentation Slides

October 4 - Teacher Leadership and Compensation System Update

October 11 - The System for Student and Teacher Advancement (TAP) Overview

October 18 - The Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) Overview

October 25 - Minnesota Q Comp Overview


Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 20, 2014 at 6:42am.