Superintendent of Public Instruction 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pay-for-performance bonuses in 499 schools across Idaho will receive these bonuses, even though Proposition 2 has been repealed.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 Proposition 2, which created a statewide pay-for-performance program, was repealed by Idaho voters on November 6.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had existed on whether or not districts could distribute this bonus money to teachers after the laws are officially repealed from Idaho Code on November 21.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Luna asked the Attorney General the following question to give school districts clarity: If Proposition 2 is repealed, will local school districts and public charter schools have the legal authority to distribute pay-for-performance bonuses to individual teachers after the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?
About eight in 10 Idaho teachers will receive a bonus this year. The average bonus will be about $2,000. School districts across Idaho are set to receive millions in bonuses for teachers. For example, the Boise School District will receive an estimated $4.6 million, Meridian School District an estimated $4.2 million, Twin Falls School District an estimated $998,000, Pocatello School District an estimated $2 million, Idaho Falls School District an estimated $1.2 million, Lewiston School District an estimated $1 million, and Coeur d’Alene School District an estimated $1.7 million.
Under Idaho’s statewide pay-for-performance plan, teachers were awarded bonuses for meeting criteria at the state and local level.
The state goals were based on student performance on the ISAT and took into account both student proficiency and student growth. The state rewarded teachers and other certificated staff in an entire school for reaching goals based on overall excellence (how many students reach proficiency), as well as academic growth (how much progress students show year over year).
Additionally, each local school district set its own local goals based on multiple objective measures of student achievement. These goals vary from district to district and include factors like student attendance, the Idaho Reading Indicator, end-of-course assessments and graduation rates.
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 November 15, 2012.
The student achievement portion of pay-for-performance was just one part of Idaho’s statewide pay-for-performance plan. If Proposition 2 had passed, teachers would have been able to earn bonuses for working in hard-to-fill positions and taking on leadership duties next year.
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.