The Center for American Progress Action Fund would like to commend Chairman Tom Harkin, Chairman David Obey, and House and Senate Appropriators for dramatically increasing funding for the Teacher Incentive Fund as part of the FY2010 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations conference report . TIF is a competitive grant program that supports performance-based teacher and principal compensation systems in high-needs schools. The program also supports pay for teaching in subject shortage areas such as mathematics and science, and pay for taking on additional responsibilities such as mentoring or coaching other teachers. The appropriators funded TIF at $400 million, almost quadrupling funding for the program and closely approaching the administration’s requested level of funding. Clearly, House and Senate appropriators understand that teachers matter most for improving student achievement; therefore, practices for recruiting, evaluation, developing, and compensating teachers need to change in order to help school districts attract and retain the most talented teacher candidates. According to Cynthia G. Brown, Vice President for Education Policy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, "The Teacher Incentive Fund will be a catalyst for transformation in teacher compensation practices while reshaping performance evaluation and professional development of teachers to improve teaching and learning in TIF schools across the country." We commend the chairmen and appropriators’ leadership and foresight in funding TIF at this level. We also commend the House for passing the conference report and hope the Senate will follow suit quickly.