Indiana’s wealthiest districts get most teacher bonus pay


Teachers in some of Indiana's wealthiest school districts will get the largest share of $40 million in performance pay that the state made available this year for high-performing educators, with urban districts seeing much less.

Data released Wednesday by the Indiana Department of Education shows Carmel Clay Schools leading the state in the most performance money per teacher at more than $2,400. Zionsville Community Schools came in second at more than $2,200, The Indianapolis Star reported.

Comparatively, Indianapolis Public Schools will receive nearly $130 per teacher. Wayne Township Schools will see among the lowest payments, at just more than $40 per teacher.

Bonus supporters said the goal is to reward good teachers, but Democrats and the leader of the state's largest teachers union blasted inequities in the amount that will be given to schools.

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, the chamber's top Republican, said the state should review the "distribution formula" for the bonus pay.

"The original concept was to recognize outstanding teachers, not just outstanding districts," Bosma said. "So we'll work it through and hopefully be able to make it equitable."

The incoming Republican superintendent of public instruction has said she wants lawmakers to review the pay, arguing that the current strategy does not provide an adequate incentive to attract and retain teachers.

Schools get the bonuses based on ISTEP student exam scores and graduation rates. Money is then given to teachers who earn high marks on their yearly evaluations.

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