Luna: Repeal won't affect teacher bonuses - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Luna: Repeal won't affect teacher bonuses

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Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 2:35 pm

Idaho state schools chief Tom Luna announced today that teachers who earned pay-for-performance bonuses in 499 schools across Idaho will receive these bonuses, even though Proposition 2 has been repealed.

In a written opinion requested by Superintendent Luna, the Attorney General’s office held that bonuses were earned during the 2011-2012 school year and paying the bonuses is a “ministerial” duty. Proposition 2, which created a statewide pay-for-performance program, was repealed by Idaho voters on November 6.

“This is great news for Idaho teachers who have worked hard to earn these bonuses and deserve to receive them,” said Superintendent Luna. “I am pleased districts will be able to distribute this $38 million in bonuses despite the repeal of Proposition 2.”

The state will distribute pay-for-performance funding to Idaho school districts and public charter schools on November 15. Under the law, districts have until December 15 to distribute these bonuses to the Idaho teachers who earned it under the pay-for-performance plan in the 2011-2012 school year. However, some uncertainty had existed on whether or not districts could distribute this bonus money to teachers after the laws are officially repealed from Idaho Code on November 21.

Therefore, Superintendent Luna asked the Attorney General the following question to give school districts clarity: If Proposition 2 is repealed, will local school districts and public charter schools have the legal authority to distribute pay-for-performance bonuses to individual teachers after the November 21 certification of the election?

The average bonus will be about $2,000. School districts in North Idaho are set to receive millions in bonuses for teachers. For example, the Lewiston School District will receive an estimated $1 million, Moscow School District an estimated $700,000, Coeur d’Alene School District an estimated $1.7 million, and the Lake Pend Oreille School District an estimated $945,000.

Under Idaho’s statewide pay-for-performance plan, teachers were awarded bonuses at schools that met criteria at the state and local levels.

The state goals were based on student performance on the ISAT and took into account both student proficiency and student growth.

Based on the results from the 2011-2012 school year, certificated staff in 499 schools have qualified to receive a bonus. The bonus amounts will vary depending on each school district’s locally developed plan.

The State Department of Education has followed the timeline put in place in 2011 for calculating pay-for-performance bonuses based on state and local student achievement data and distributing the funding for these bonuses in the third state foundation payment on Nov.15.

For a full list of schools and districts that are eligible to receive pay-for-performance bonuses and the total amount they are scheduled to receive, please visit

Related story: Bonus plan angers teachers

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • truthful1 posted at 8:32 pm on Thu, Nov 15, 2012.

    truthful1 Posts: 554

    Idaho continues it's inevitable sink into 3rd world status.

  • concernedcitizen posted at 7:01 pm on Wed, Nov 14, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    TWolf22 again hits it out of the park. I"ve been saying this for years. If jonny is disruptive send him home to mommy and/or daddy each and every day till BOTH get it.

  • cdanative33 posted at 2:19 pm on Wed, Nov 14, 2012.

    cdanative33 Posts: 382

    Couldn't agree more. The most underrepresented and least supported students in the system are the ones who cause the least trouble....that needs to change.

  • flattopramen posted at 10:40 am on Wed, Nov 14, 2012.

    flattopramen Posts: 140

    Nice try, creating a law that punishes bad parents for their bad kids borders on insanity, and would only result in further neglect and abuse. You can't force someone to be a good parent, they either care or they don't. The prevalence and severity of abusive parents in N Idaho alone is startling, do the laws against physical child abuse stop it from happening? Nope. So the dad/mom lose a their job, now what? Lose the house/car? How does that stabilize the public education system? How about we focus on ways to build up and strengthen our society rather than find new ways to make a bad situation worse. Big picture people. Drink locally, think globally.

  • TWolf22 posted at 9:50 am on Wed, Nov 14, 2012.

    TWolf22 Posts: 58

    You hit the nail directly on the head. What you described is exactly the problem. Teachers spend so much time and energy with the disruptive or willful failures and then get no help and are told exactly what you described: "just deal with it."
    Well, it is time to change. I would welcome you, or anyone who wants to see this change to contact me and maybe we could develop a voice that people will listen to. Contact me at
    I am trying to get in touch with Michael Lanza, Chairman of the Vote No Group, but there must be a large and directed effort to contact legislators and those who make the decisions to address this issue.

  • Nan posted at 8:40 am on Wed, Nov 14, 2012.

    Nan Posts: 11

    TWolf22, I would love to see parents be held accountable for their children. I had my child moved to a different class because her teacher could not control 2 students in the room and the whole class was falling behind. They did bring in an adult aide and that helped some but the teacher was spending all her time with 2 students and 24 others were missing out. Before anyone jumps on me I volunteered 3 days a week in the class helping with reading and math. I really loved how this teacher tried to teach the children but got no backing from the parents of these two kids. She was told they are ODD or ADHD and just to deal with it. I wish we could have sent them home everyday and then maybe the parents would have tried to help with the behavior. This has also happened in my HS age kids and the teachers just feel helpless. NO backing from anyone because the parents might complain, well I am now starting to complain loudly so my kids can get a good education.

  • TWolf22 posted at 7:50 am on Wed, Nov 14, 2012.

    TWolf22 Posts: 58

    •I have said the following many times. Very few want to address the issue. I believe that is because the truth is hard to swallow for so many. Who, but those who know the repercussions would apply to them would not want to implement the following? I am certain that forcing parents to be responsible and accountable would increase student performance exponentially.

    The number one problem that needs to be addressed and reformed is the parental accountability and responsibility for the effort and behavior of their child. Laws need to be crafted that tie parental accountability for the effort and behavior of their child in with the child neglect laws. It is child neglect for a parent not to ensure that their child goes to school prepared for class; is not disruptive and/or disrespectful, and give his or her best effort.

    Too many kids are willful failures and disrupt the learning environment of those kids who do want to learn. Why doesn't Luna and the legislature force a law down our throats that requires the following: If a child does not come to class prepared (having books, paper and pencil, homework, etc...) or is disruptive and/or disrespectful, or does not try his or her best on assignments and tests, the parents are called to come and pick up the child for the day. The child can return the next day, but if it happens again, the parent gets called again, and everytime until the child gets the message. If the parent does not come and get the child, law enforcement is called and a child neglect report is taken.

    How long do you think that it would take before most parents would impress upon their child that the child had better get with the program, because mommy and daddy will lose their job if they have to continually be called to pick up Tommy or Susie. If the parents are receiving welfare, etc.... hold back on those payments. If you force parents to be accountable for their children, the majority of the problems in public education would disappear.

    Why do you think private and charter schools are so successful? Because parents are involved, accountable, and responsible for the effort and behavior of their children.

  • local res posted at 10:17 pm on Tue, Nov 13, 2012.

    local res Posts: 1165

    i am waiting to see if the teachers and the union present a plan that will increase the graduation rate. I am also waiting to see them devise a plan to address the students who will not automatically pass on at the end of the year. Lastly, I would like to see the teachers union plan of removing bad teachers. Tenure is a horrible excuse not to educate a child.

  • estatetracker posted at 10:04 pm on Tue, Nov 13, 2012.

    estatetracker Posts: 340

    I agree with Greyhond, you can't fix this problem by throwing more money at it--that is like dropping more bombs into Vietnam--a waste of ammo.

    But never forget that Luna pushed through the system "emergency" provisions to all the Propositions right after he found out that there would be clear opposition. Part of the "emergency" amendments allowed immediate implementation of his ill-concieved bonus plan. There has to be something wrong with a "commission" based pay when even mediocre techers at the "winning" schools want to give to others who may need or deserve it more.

    This is another failure of how the business model of management does not equate to teaching the next few generations. Luna should step aside for a while.

    But then out of the other side of his mouthpiece, almost as if he was buying who he thought to be the most influential teachers in most of the most influential schools--he promises "cash" and now can't get out of it.


  • cdanative33 posted at 8:42 pm on Tue, Nov 13, 2012.

    cdanative33 Posts: 382

    Consider it a bonus for having to listen to people like you disparage a very challenging and unquantifiably important profession that you have very little working knowledge of. What makes it even more satisfying is that you're paying for it.

  • cdanative33 posted at 8:27 pm on Tue, Nov 13, 2012.

    cdanative33 Posts: 382

    It is beautiful to see Luna have to disburse the funds for merit pay after the props were shot down...a small reimbursement for the pain and suffering that educators went through over the last two years of denigration of their profession by their "leader".

    This was a legal matter. The laws were in effect last year; therefore, the bonuses had to be distributed based on what was the law last year. The state would have been facing law suits if they didn't disburse the bonus payments. That money had already been yanked from money the state allotted for teacher salaries based on the new laws.

    Poetic justice.

  • concernedcitizen posted at 6:16 pm on Tue, Nov 13, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530


    I AM for the teachers but teachers are always saying that the class sizes are to big. How is that being a johnny one note? I am agreeing with them. They have complained how unfair the disbursement of these bonuses were/are so the only "FAIR" thing for all of the teachers that DIDN'T get them because of demographics.

    Since ALL teachers said it was unfair then every penny should be returned to create more teaching positions thus lowering class size. If you are REALLY for the kids, as you claim, then this would be the proper thing to do.

  • jmowreader posted at 5:40 pm on Tue, Nov 13, 2012.

    jmowreader Posts: 1405

    If I remember correctly, Luna got the money for these bonuses by lowering teacher salaries--which explains why the union was so dead set against them. Taking money out of your left pocket and MAYBE putting it back in your right if certain conditions are met is not a "bonus." "Bonus" implies you'll get MORE money, and that didn't happen here.

    But hey, ya gotta hand it to ol' Tom: less than a week after the voters went to the polls and stomped on his educational deform plan, he went right back to the legislature asking part of it (the bonuses) be revived. There's something to be said for persistence in the face of insurmountable barriers, like the voters telling you your ideas stink.

  • mister d posted at 5:08 pm on Tue, Nov 13, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    Luna is so two faced it is no wonder teachers neither respect or trust him. Greyhound - you are a flat out liar. You have been corrected many times about your phony stats and information but yet you continue to talk your trash. Luckily most people read your garbage and dismiss it.
    Congradulations teachers on getting your so called bonus. Most voters know they were based on ill conceived ideas, but heck, you did the work, take the money. Only a fool would return the money.

  • DeNiles posted at 4:39 pm on Tue, Nov 13, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    My-O-my! You'd think (y'know ethical wise) that IF this 'bonus' program was SO unfair and horrible - that - the teachers unions had-to spend millions to eliminate it -that- the wonderful teachers in question would refuse to accept this (tainted, banal) money.

    Nah, these are teachers and money is money and ethics be damned. Undoubtedly they're taking the money this -1- time just for the 'children'. Sorta makes ya all teary eyed, huh?

  • voxpop posted at 4:19 pm on Tue, Nov 13, 2012.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    Greyhound2 and ConCit - you're both annoying Johnny One Notes. Every think about anything but your own selfish interest? Any Greyhound - once again - your stats are fiction. Bad fiction. But I'd expect nothing less.

    Samuel - you're absolutely right and it is outrageously unfair - BUT blame Goedde, Nonini, Luna, and Otter. They're the ones who dreamed up this garbage in the first place. I'm still thinking the legislature will figure some way to welch on this. Or they'll just deduct the payment from next years allocation.

  • greyhound2 posted at 3:40 pm on Tue, Nov 13, 2012.

    greyhound2 Posts: 896

    Throwing more money at the schools isn't going to change a 30% plus drop out rate, and science and math test scores which rank near the bottom of a country which ranks 23rd in the world. Too bad they didn't have all their levies and building bonds on the November election ballot when people were voting, but that is the point isn't it.

  • SamuelStanding posted at 3:25 pm on Tue, Nov 13, 2012.

    SamuelStanding Posts: 588

    Soooo, the classroom aides who assist the teachers especially in the case of Special Needs -they are not going to be part of this distribution because they are not CERTIFIED educators? Is that correct? It is all about the Idaho ISAT test scores increased outcomes for specific schools. Hmmm

  • concernedcitizen posted at 3:10 pm on Tue, Nov 13, 2012.

    concernedcitizen Posts: 2530

    I say BULL. They repealed it. Keep the money for more teachers. After all classes are to big aren't they?

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