Superintendent's Memo #113-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

April 15, 2011

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Virginia Performance Pay Incentives (VPPI) in Hard-to-Staff Schools Competitive Grant for 2011-2012

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is seeking proposals from eligible school divisions with schools identified as hard-to-staff for the 2010-2011 school year to support pilot models for awarding performance pay incentives to teachers for the 2011-12 school year. Governor Robert F. McDonnell and the General Assembly budgeted $3 million for the Virginia Performance Pay Incentives (VPPI) initiative in fiscal year 2012. These state funds will be used to award competitive grants to pilot performance pay models in identified hard-to-staff schools. The $3 million will complement federal Title I School Improvement Grant Funds that will support a second performance pay pilot in low-performing schools and the development of training materials for school divisions.

The pilot schools must implement a comprehensive teacher evaluation system for making decisions about teacher performance that is aligned with the standards and indicators developed by a stakeholder Work Group convened by the Virginia Department of Education in 2010-2011. The pilot pay incentive must be tied to the teacher evaluation model. A goal is to have school divisions participate in each of the eight superintendents' regions.

The Teacher Evaluation Work Group conducted a comprehensive study of teacher evaluation. The Work Group was comprised of teachers, administrators, superintendents, representatives from professional organizations, expert consultants, and Department of Education staff. The Work Group has recommended revised teacher evaluation guidelines, uniform teacher performance standards, and standards for the professional practice of teachers. The Department of Education presented the revised guidelines to the Board of Education in March and anticipates final review on April 28, 2011. The documents may be reviewed at the following Web site:

Attached is a chart listing the schools identified as hard-to-staff, including the qualifying criteria, for the 2010-2011 school year. For purposes of this initiative, a hard-to-staff school in a Virginia school division has been identified as one that meets at least four of the following eight criteria:

The competitive grant application is attached to this memorandum. Applications must be received by the Division of Teacher Education and Licensure, Virginia Department of Education, no later than 2 p.m., on June 15, 2011. Applications not meeting the delivery deadline will not be considered. An optional pre-proposal teleconference will be held on April 22, 2011, at 9 a.m. To participate in the teleconference, please refer to the directions on page 3 of the attached application packet.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Mrs. Patty S. Pitts, assistant superintendent for teacher education and licensure, via e-mail at or telephone (804) 371-2522 or Dr. James Lanham, director of licensure and school leadership, via e-mail at or telephone at (804) 371-2471.



  1. Virginia Performance Pay Incentives (VPPI) in Hard-to-Staff Schools Competitive Grant Application Packet (PDF)
  2. Chart of Hard-to-Staff Schools, including Qualifying Criteria, for the 2010-2011 School Year (PDF)