Gov't awards $290 million for teacher incentives

Money rewards top teachers

The Obama administration is awarding $290 million in grants to reward top teachers and boost opportunities for teachers who work in impoverished schools. Nearly $13 million is going to two school districts in Colorado.

   The Department of Education says the funds will flow to almost 1,000 schools in 18 states plus the District of Columbia.

In Colorado, Denver Public School is getting $8,909,813 over a two year period to increase student achievement in high-need urban schools through further development of their educator evaluation system and aligned performance-based compensation system. 

Harrison School District 2 in Colorado Springs is getting $4,079,060 over a two year period for its pay-for-performance plan. The program will compensate licensed staff and school-based administrators on their demonstrated effectiveness. 

   The government's program is intended to encourage school districts to incentivize good teaching through faculty evaluations and performance-based pay. Some of the grants focus on science and math teachers, which President Barack Obama has said is a top priority.

   Education Secretary Arne Duncan says there's a desperate need for top teachers and principals to have greater influence over their colleagues.