It’s been a month since Christmas, but some Houstonians are about to get some very lucrative gifts. HISD is paying out millions of dollars in bonuses to teachers whose students did well, and principals and administrators whose school did well. There’s even a bonus for attendance. Norm Uhl is the district spokesman.
“We had one teacher at Lyons Elementary school, in fact, Dr. Grier is going to be visiting his classroom. This teacher actually got all three bonuses and earned the highest teacher bonus in the district of 11,330 dollars.”
The teacher performance bonuses are based on how much students learned by the end of the year, not test scores, so teachers at lower performing schools have an equal chance for bonuses as teachers at higher performing schools.
“The argument has been that the ones in the top performing schools have a harder time getting a bonus, because there’s less room for them to move up. That’s the argument, but there’s always room for theme to move up.”
Some might question how the district can afford to give out bonuses during these times of cutbacks.
“In this county, there are 26 school districts and we have to compete with all 26 to get the very best teachers we can, and we think this gives us an edge.”
The extra money won’t be a complete surprise to workers. In December, HISD employees were able to go online and see their estimated bonus amount — a Christmas present that’s just a few weeks late.