Teacher Bonuses

Idaho Ed News

In 2015-16, legislators earmarked $16.1 million to reward teachers who take on leadership roles.

Lawmakers want these ongoing “leadership premiums” to go to select teachers who take on added responsibilities. Yet 19 districts gave a share of the money to at least 90 percent of their teaching staff.

Lawmakers also wanted eligible teachers to receive a significant bonus — writing an $850 minimum into state statute. Eighteen districts and charter schools awarded smaller premiums anyway. The smallest was $75.

learning elementary student teacher
Alvin Trusty / Flickr Creative Commons

Experienced teachers in Idaho looking for a bonus will have to show their work just like their students under a new plan recently adopted by the Idaho State Board of Education.

Under the new state guidelines, teachers with at least eight years of experience will have to submit a portfolio documenting how they meet the standards required to receive a master teacher premium. These $4,000 bonuses won't go into effect until 2019, but the board wants to give enough time to teachers and school districts for preparation.

Staff / Idaho Statesman

Idaho teachers will still get about $38 million in merit-pay bonuses this year. That’s despite voters' rejection of public schools chief Tom Luna's education overhaul.

The Idaho attorney general says the failure at the polls shouldn't affect the payout.

In an opinion made public Monday, deputy attorney general Andrew Snook wrote that teachers who qualified for the bonuses earned them for the 2011-2012 school year — before Luna's merit pay law was voted down Nov. 6.