Pitt County Schools receive $16.2M teacher incentive grant

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The U.S. Department of Education is investing $16.2 million into Pitt County Schools through a teacher incentive grant designed to develop strategies for teacher recruitment, retention and rewards, known as R3.

“This idea of how do we keep our best teachers in the classroom, because that’s where they have the biggest impact,” said Seth Brown, Pitt County Schools teacher support coordinator. “And then allow them to expand their influence and work with other teachers, and by that matter, expanding their influence to other kids.”

R3 co-directors Brown and Thomas Feller Jr. collaborated with other teachers who said they want to influence their peers.

They came up with two programs to expand the district’s teaching leadership programs: Career Pathways and Performance-based Compensation.

“It’s about helping our best teachers, help other teachers,” said Brown.

Eighty percent of the grant, which comes to about $13 million, is budgeted for new positions, supplements, stipends and performance-based bonuses.

That’s “$13 million into our economy over the next 5 years, because now people have extra money to go out to dinner, put a down payment on a new car, pay off some debts,” Feller Jr. said. “That’s an entire community.”

The other $3 million dollars will go toward funding training and new programs, which are designed to retain effective teachers and decrease turnover.

“It’s this whole me-we concept,” said Brown. “It’s able to help me improve myself, so that way we can improve as a school district.”

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