The Department of Education says the funds will flow to almost 1,000 schools in 18 states plus the District of Columbia.
The program is intended to encourage school districts to incentivize good teaching through faculty evaluations and performance-based pay. Some of the grants focus on science and math teachers, whichPresident Barack Obama has said is a top priority.
Public school systems in New York and Los Angeles will use the funds for a compensation program that's based on career ladders.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan says there's a desperate need for top teachers and principals to have greater influence over their colleagues.