State's Leadership Premium Report Fraught With Bad Math

Mar 10, 2016

Senate Education Committee Chairman Dean Mortimer, left, and House Education Committee Chairman Reed DeMordaunt.
Credit Idaho Education News

A report tracking $16.7 million in teacher “leadership premiums” — compiled by the State Department of Education and presented to two legislative committees — is fraught with math errors.

The report came under some harsh scrutiny in the House Education Committee Thursday morning. A State Department of Education official acknowledged the errors in the report, but said it was impractical to doublecheck the schools’ math.

Leadership premiums are a form of salary bonuses the Legislature approved in 2014 to reward teachers and staffers who go above and beyond their normal job duties. The premiums are designed to reward teachers who mentor colleagues, assume hard-to-fill teaching jobs or perform other leadership roles. According to the 2014-15 report, schools awarded more than $16.7 million in leadership premiums to 10,369 Idaho teachers.

The report was unveiled a week ago. Since then, Idaho Education News has analyzed the data, and found a multitude of mathematical errors and omissions.

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