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3/15/19 ABSS retools teaching incentives

ABSS retools teaching incentives
Bonuses for Title I teachers emphasize importance of test scores
By Jessica Williams, The Times-News 3/15/19    
Reprinted with permission.

The Alamance-Burlington School System is rethinking teaching incentives for Title I schools.

In early February, the board of education considered a pilot program that would offer $4,000 to teachers who agree to teach at one of the district’s three Title I middle schools — Turrentine, Broadview or Graham — with additional bonuses for staying on board and helping the school meet or exceed growth.

All three of these schools are considered difficult to staff, with teacher turnover rates higher than 20 percent.

At the Board of Education’s Tuesday, March 12, meeting, Interim Title I Director Amy Richardson presented a retooled version of the program.

Here’s what changed:

Instead of receiving a $4,000 signing bonus, new teachers would receive $1,500.

This is a one-time bonus, which means if a teacher signed on to teach at Broadview Middle and then decided to move to Graham, they would not be eligible for the bonus at Graham. Both new and existing teachers would receive an annual $600 bonus for attending a three-day professional development workshop prior to the start of school. And existing teachers would be eligible for yearly bonuses based on the academic performance of students.

“The team that met was very clear that they wanted to tie it to outcomes,” Richardson told the board. “Not only as part of their responsibilities of being hired with the district, but as a way to incentivize the fact that [these teachers] have got to work extra, they’ve got to work harder and to be able to reward that work.”

If the school meets growth the following year, all teachers would receive a $300 bonus. If the school exceeds growth, all teachers would receive a $400 bonus.

There is an additional bonus available for teachers responsible for courses like reading, math and eighth-grade science, which are measured by the state.

If students meet growth, these teachers would receive an additional $300. If students exceed growth, these teachers would receive an additional $600.

All growth-based bonuses would be paid out the following October, after the state releases annual performance data.

Altogether, ABSS plans to use $300,000 in Title I funding to pay for this three-year pilot program.

Board members weren’t required to vote Tuesday, but they did offer consensus for staff to move forward with planning.