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Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) System

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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.

The goals of the Teacher Leadership and Compensation System are as follows:

  • 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.

Every school district in Iowa has implemented a TLC plan. The state of Iowa has almost 10,000 teachers serving in a teacher leadership role.


This section supports school districts as they continue to implement Teacher Leadership and Compensation. This is where school districts can find support in such areas as plan changes, promising practices and other guidance.


This section provides guidance on End-of-Year reporting as well other components of the TLC evaluation system.