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Marshalltown Community School District was among the first 30 schools in Iowa to implement the TLC System.


  • Improve student achievement by strengthening instruction

  • 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.

The 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.


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.


*Content on this page has been retrieved from the Iowa Department of Education.


What is TLC? 

What are the goals of the Teacher Leadership and Compensation System?


"Being a model classroom teacher allows me to deeply reflect while lesson planning. I now put a lot more effort into finding: activities I know will benefit all of the students based on their backgrounds, ways to get them up and moving, and strategies to effectively interact with the standards."


Shea Hill, MCT Miller Middle School

""Our work through the TLC program has been very beneficial. Getting to come together with colleagues and think about how to improve our practice is an important step in great teaching. This year's SIOP classes have provided this opportunity as well as allowing us to grow our knowledge of the components of sheltered instruction. We bring this work and what we have learned with us to team planning, building professional development, one-on-one coaching sessions with our mentees, and conversations had in passing about current practice."


MCT Lenihan Intermediate School 


 “MCT has allowed us to grow in our understanding and delivery of SIOP features and components. It also has allowed different members of different departments to collaborate, observe, and learn.”

“Videotaping and working with an instructional coach was eye-opening and reflective for my practice.”


Naomi Musal, MCT MHS 

"TLC provides compensation for effective teachers to become leaders within the building and district and for all teachers to effectively collaborate and learn from each other."


Amy Williams, Hoglan Elementary Principal

"TLC has provided the opportunity to build leadership within our school.  Teachers have colleagues in leadership roles that they can use as a constant resource." 


Jennifer August, Instructional Coach, Fisher Elementary School


"Implementing Sheltered Instruction class has made me aware of how important it is to plan lessons according to the composite scores of my ELL students. It's truly just good teaching for all students."


MCT Fisher Elementary




"One of the most important things I've learned about teaching is that modeling a strategy or skill is key to learning.  In the TLC model, I show the students what to do and they do it.  The teaching part is easy as long as I can do it myself!"


MCT Lenihan Intermediate School

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