Mentor Program Allotment (MPA)
We can all agree that new teachers need support, and chances are you have some rock-star teachers on staff who would make excellent mentors! Mentoring new teachers takes extra time and work, so you will be pleased to know that TEA has devoted funding to support mentor programs.
The Mentor Program Allotment (MPA) is new with House Bill 3, and it is optional. You will have to apply in the spring of 2020 to receive the funds for the 2020-2021 school year. Charter School Success has researched the MPA, and this tip will provide you with the essential facts we have at this time.
The Charter School Success federal team will work together with our clients to apply for and implement the new MPA allotment according to program guidelines.
What do MPA funds provide?
The goal of the MPA program is for districts to implement effective mentor programs based on best practices while reducing district costs for mentoring. The MPA funds would provide $1,800 per mentee (a new teacher with less than 2 years of teaching experience) to be used on the following:
- Mentor stipends
- Scheduled release time
- Mentor training
TEA published a memo on December 5, 2019, that is a helpful guide to the new Mentor Program Allotment. Please click here for a link to the memo.
What are the requirements for the MPA?
The State formed a committee in 2015 to evaluate mentor programs and make recommendations to the legislature for improvement. The committee made recommendations based on best practices in teacher mentorship. LEAs who decide to apply for MPA funds MUST abide by all (not just some) of the best practices. Below is a summary of the requirements. For more requirements, please see the video or slide show below in the resources section.
- Mentor selection – mentors must have 3 complete years of experience and a track record of success improving student outcomes
- Mentor assignment – new teachers must be mentored for 2 years and start within 30 days of employment (there will be limits on how many new teachers a mentor can have)
- Mentor training – mentors will be required to attend a training program approved by the commissioner as well as LEA training
- Mentor roles and responsibilities – must meet at least 12 hours per semester; observation time required
- Program design and delivery – Must be during the school day and include:
- Orientation to district context, policies, and practices
- Data-driven instruction
- Instructional coaching cycles
- Professional development; and
- Professional expectations.
- Mentor funding – may be used for stipends, release time, and training
- Survey – both mentor and mentee will be required to participate in a State survey
- Compliance report – LEAs will be required to submit an annual compliance report
What resources are available for questions about the new allotments?
TEA has developed 30-minute videos and PowerPoint presentations called “HB3 in 30” to explain new funding sources under HB 3. In addition, directly below each video is a slide presentation that is an excellent review of the entire program.
- Watch TEA’s 30-minute video here: New Teacher Mentoring Video
- See TEA presentation slides here: New Teacher Mentoring Slides
- Mentoring is also an allowable program out of Title II. An LEA may currently be funding a new teacher mentor program out of Title II. It is not supplanting to move from Title II to the new MPA fund because that is a Federal to local move. However, it would require careful planning in your needs assessment to “re-plan” Title II with an appropriate committee. Also, once you move it to the MPA (state funds), it WOULD be supplanting to move it back to Title II unless the State cut those funds in the future. CSS does not know at this time if MPA award decisions will be made before the Federal grant has to be submitted, although TEA does state “spring.”
- Funding would only be provided for mentoring new teachers with less than 2 years of teaching experience. It would not pay for teachers who are new to your Charter District with more than 2 years of experience. Mentoring staff for “our LEA way” would not be included if they have more than 2 years experience.
- The max any Charter District could receive would be $100,000.
- If TEA receives more applications than they have funds, a point system will be used to prioritize based on district size, rural status, and percent economically disadvantaged. Applying does not guarantee funding.
- Administering the program will place an additional work load on the person coordinating the program.
- The LEA would have to consider subs costs for release time and training costs to meet the 24 hour requirement before determining how much of the $1,800 allotment could be used for a stipend. It is possible that other local or federal funds may be needed to support the program.
- Funds would not flow to districts until Fall of 2020, so summer mentoring expenses would have to be covered. CSS does not know at this time if MPA funds will be able to reimburse summer expenses.
Stay tuned for more MPA info to come!
Have questions or need assistance?