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pay-for-performance bonuses in 499 schools across Idaho will receive these bonuses, even though Proposition 2 has been repealed.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 Proposition 2, which created a statewide pay-for-performance program, was repealed by Idaho voters on November 6.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had existed on whether or not districts could distribute this bonus money to teachers after the laws are officially repealed from Idaho Code on November 21.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Luna asked the Attorney General the following question to give school districts clarity: If Proposition 2 is repealed, will local school districts and public charter schools have the legal authority to distribute pay-for-performance bonuses to individual teachers after the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 http://www.studentscomefirst.org/performance.htm.
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