Ed Dept: $437 million in grants to schools where teachers will be rewarded for student success

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education will give $437 million in competitive grants to districts that reward teachers for improving student achievement in high-need schools.

The Teacher Incentive Fund aims to reform teacher and principal compensation programs, increase the number of teachers instructing poor and minority students, and boost student performance.

The fund was authorized in 2006 and is available to school districts, nonprofits and states. It has been implemented in 109 school districts so far, and the new push will award about 40 to 80 more grants.

The National Education Association, the country's largest teacher union has opposed initiative. The union generally argues against performance pay and for higher salaries for all teachers.