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South Dakota INCENTIVESplus


South Dakota INCENTIVESplus is a financial incentive system that targets educators in high-need schools in mainly rural areas. The system includes professional development and financial incentives to principals and instructional staff based on gains in student achievement.


South Dakota INCENTIVESplus is funded by a five-year $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Forty-two Title I elementary and secondary schools in 10 South Dakota school districts currently participate in the INCENTIVESplus project. The program was started during the 2007-08 school year.

South Dakota INCENTIVESplus links performance and teacher pay, offering incentives to schools and individuals that are able to improve student performance.

Money from the INCENTIVESplus project is distributed via a three-tier approach to participating schools and educators.
- The first tier will be school-based, with all principals and instructional staff in the eligible schools receiving awards based on student achievement at the school level. Award amounts range from $750 to $4,000.
- The second tier provides individual awards to principals and teachers based on factors such as effective individual performance, individual leadership roles and responsibilities, and classroom increases in student achievement. Award amounts range from $350 to $1,000.
- The third tier is based on recruitment and signing incentives for teachers in hard-to-fill positions within participating schools. Award amount is up to $5,000 per teacher.

An outside evaluator will implement a mixed-method evaluation by collecting, analyzing and interpreting qualitative and quantitative data. The evaluation will be designed to measure the impact of the incentive system and to evaluate its implementation.

Currently, teacher compensation in South Dakota reflects a very traditional approach. School districts negotiate with teacher unions to establish a salary schedule that sets the base rate for teacher pay with increments for “steps” and “lanes” that respond to years of experience and continuing education. Under this current system, the average teacher salary in South Dakota was $34,673 during the 2005-06 school year.

Participating Schools
Andes Central School District
Andes Central Elementary
Andes Central Junior High
Andes Central High School
Belle Fourche School District
South Park Elementary
North Park Elementary
Belle Fourche Middle School
Belle Fourche High School
Alternative School
Bennett County School District
Martin Elementary
Bennett County Junior High
Bennett County High School
McLaughlin School District
McLaughlin Elementary
McLaughlin Junior High
McLaughlin Senior High
Oelrichs School District
Oelrichs Elementary
Oelrichs Junior High
Oelrichs High School
Shannon County School District
Batesland Elementary
Red Shirt Table Elementary
Rockyford Lower Elementary
Rockyford Upper Elementary
Wolf Creek Lower Elementary
Wolf Creek Upper Elementary
Virtual High School
Alternative School
Smee School District
Wakpala Elementary
Wakpala High School
Todd County School District
He Dog Elementary
North Elementary
O’Kreek Elementary
Resource Center
Rosebud Elementary
South Elementary
Spring Creek Elementary
Littleburg Elementary
Klein Elementary
Lakeview Elementary
Todd County Middle School
Todd County High School
Wanbli Wiconi Tipi
White River School District
Norris Elementary
White River Elementary
Prairie View Elementary
White River Middle School
White River High School
Winner School District
Winner Middle School;


For more information, contact Dr. Melody Schopp at the Department of Education at (605) 773-5232.