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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Luna outlines pay-for-performance plan

Supt. Tom Luna has now started expanding on his "second pillar" of school reform, "great teachers and leaders." He cited a study showing that having a highly effective teacher and principal has a big impact on student achievement. "Why would we ever leave this to chance?" he asked. "We must do everything that we possibly can to ensure that we have a highly effective teacher at the helm of every classroom and a highly effective leader at the helm of every school." He said the current system limits the state's ability to reward great teachers and remove less-effective teachers.

"First and foremost, we will restore the instructional salary grid to full funding," he said, which would reverse a budget cut made last year. "In addition the state will raise minimum teacher salary to $30,000. We have to get minimum teacher salary back up where it was." In addition, he said, he proposes "a pay for performance plan to recognize and reward our excellent teachers and administrators. ... I'm convinced this is the only way we will be able to attract and retain a highly qualified workforce in every school across Idaho." He said, "We already know our teachers and principals are working hard every day to help our students. The goal is to reward them for the work they already do."

Luna said he's proposing to move forward with a pay-for-performance plan he negotiated with stakeholders in 2009. It includes bonuses for working in hard-to-fill positions; taking on leadership responsibilities like mentoring new teachers or developing curriculum; or for working in schools that meet student growth targets, at both state and local levels. Luna said teachers could earn from $2,000 to $8,000 a year in bonuses under the plan.

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.