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Eye On Boise

State report raises questions about school districts’ distribution of teacher ‘leadership premiums’

A new state report is raising questions about how Idaho school districts are distributing “leadership premiums” designed to reward select teachers who take on added responsibilities, reports Idaho Education 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 the new report shows 19 districts gave a share of the money to at least 90 percent of their teaching staff, writes EdNews reporter Kevin Richert.

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, according to the state Department of Education report. House Education Committee Chairwoman Julie VanOrden, R-Pingree, suggested legislators might need to amend the law yet again.

But at least one school district disputes the SDE findings, EdNews reports. And this latest report comes on the heels of an error-filled SDE document outlining the 2014-15 rollout of the program. You can read Richert’s full report here.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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