New law provides $3 million a year for mentoring programs

House Bill 3, the new school finance law, created the mentoring program allotment (MPA), an optional funding source of $3 million a year that districts will be able to access in order to support the quality induction of beginning teachers. Districts that meet the application requirements outlined in TEC 21.458 will be eligible to receive $1,800 per new teacher. This money — capped at $100,000 per district — can be used for mentor stipends, scheduled release time and mentor training.

Applications for the new allotment will open next spring, and approved districts will be able to fund quality teacher induction programs beginning in the 2020-21 school year.

The proposed language of TEC 21.458 is based on recommendations of the Texas Teaching Mentoring Advisory Committee, a committee charged by the Legislature in 2013 with evaluating mentor programs and making recommendations for improvement. This committee created a set of recommendations anchored in seven best practices regarding teacher mentorship: mentor selection, mentor assignment, mentor training, mentor role and responsibilities, program design and delivery, funding and accountability. TSTA will monitor proposed rules, expected in early 2020.