Return to Headlines

DISD Makes History with TIA Designations

A select group of Donna ISD teachers will be seeing a bigger pay check beginning this year for the next five years thanks to the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) Program.

As a TIA approved school district, since the 2020-2021 school year, Donna ISD has produced teachers who qualified for this prestigious monetary reward after meeting rigorous TIA criteria. This year, the district is excited to announce that as many as 68 exceptional educators will be receiving additional funding for their outstanding performance in the classroom.

“We are overwhelmed with joy,” Superintendent Dr. Angela Dominguez said of this exciting news. “We are so proud of our teachers who work hard each and every day, after school and weekends, to ensure that our students are prepared for the next grade level and ultimately graduate ready for college, career or the military.”

According to its website, TIA was established by House Bill 3 in 2019 as a way to create a path for highly effective teachers from approved TIA school districts to receive anywhere from $3,000 to $32,000 a year on top of their annual salary. To qualify, teachers must earn a designation of recognized, exemplary, or master distinction. Teachers who teach at rural and/or high needs campuses (districts with student enrollment of fewer than 5,000) will receive bigger allotments. Donna ISD is considered a high need district because it serves over 95% economically disadvantaged students.

This year’s cohort breakdown and funding eligibility for Donna ISD is as follows:

Recognized: ($3,000 - $9,000) – 42 teachers

Exemplary: (6,000 - $18,000) – 23 teachers

Master: ($12,000 - $32,000) – 3 teachers

“Donna ISD is committed to providing our students with the best education possible so that they can become successful, productive members of our society,” said Dr. Dominguez. “To accomplish this, we must continue to build a stronger foundation for learning by rewarding, retaining and recruiting outstanding teachers. It is crucial and we believe TIA will enable us to do that by rewarding excellence in the classroom.”

To acknowledge this TIA designation milestone, Superintendent Dominguez and her administrative team hosted a surprise celebration for the TIA designees at Donna High School’s Marching Band Hall. With the musical film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” as the theme, Dr. Dominguez humorously dressed as Willy Wonka and greeted the teachers as they made entrance into the party honoring them. The teachers were then handed a golden ticket, which upon opening, displayed their designation.

It was a day to remember for these deserving teachers.

Salazar Kinder Teacher Norma Perez shared what went through her mind when she learned of her TIA designation. "Shock, excitement, and all the hard work and love I have for kids,” said Perez as she fought back tears. “My students and their little faces were the first thing that came to my mind when I opened my golden ticket envelope and saw the word Masters. I’m proud that everybody sees the hard work that we do and the love that we have for our students.”