The Idaho State Department of Education distributed $38.8 million in pay-for-performance funding to school districts on November 15. Teachers in 499 schools qualified for pay-for-performance bonuses and are set to receive these bonuses before December 15, even though Proposition 2 has been repealed.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. Therefore, the bonuses must be paid.
"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."
About eight in 10 Idaho teachers received a bonus this year. The average bonus is about $2,000. School districts across Idaho received 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 qualified to receive a bonus. The bonus amounts varied from district to district and school to school depending on each school district's locally developed plan.
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.sde.idaho.gov/site/finance_tech/payForPerformance.htm.