The big question: How is TEP able to finance its teacher compensation program (teachers receive a $140K salary and are eligible to receive an annual bonus of $25K) while relying almost exclusively on the public funding it receives as a New York City Charter School?
The core component that allows TEP to make a radical investment in teacher compensation is that, in doing so, TEP accrues significant cost savings that result from the tremendous quality and productivity of its teachers. Whereas a typical public school spends a significant percentage of its annual funding on line items such as instructional supervisors, extended-day activities, contracted services and the like, TEP avoids these costs because they are either unnecessary given the instructional quality of its teachers (e.g. deans of discipline) or already integrated into its teachers’ responsibilities (e.g. extended-day programs).
TEP does NOT fundraise to support its investment in teacher compensation. This is because a central feature of TEP’s mission is to demonstrate that schools can make a radical investment in teacher equity by reallocating existing public funding. TEP only solicits donations for our alumni program and our school facilities, since, in contrast to traditional public schools which receive a free facility, New York State charter schools typically must pay for their own school facility.