HISD Proposes New Incentive Pay Program for Teachers

Teachers in the Houston school district could get as much as $10,000 in bonuses under a new incentive pay plan.

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The Houston Independent School District will submit an incentive pay plan to the district's board next month. The plan involves a three tier system of reward based on test results. District Superintendent Dr. Abe Saavedra says the old incentive plan is faulty.

The new plan will still include campus-wide incentives. Every teacher working on a campus that rates "Acceptable with Progress" or higher and scores in the second or first quartile on the TAKS test could get as much as $1,000 in bonus pay. That part of the incentive plan applies to all teachers, including librarians, nurses counsellors and coaches. Additional incentives are paid out to classroom teachers showing improvement in the Stanford test and the TAKS test. Houston Federation of Teachers President Gayle Fallon says there's a problem with that.

Fallon says the additional Stanford and TAKS incentives also exclude teachers who don't deal with those tests. The people who teach music, art, computer labs or other electives are automatically disqualified from the score-based incentives. Saavedra says the district and board are aware of the plan's gaps and expect it to evolve over the next few years.

The district is holding several public meetings on the plan. The board will vote on it during the regular meeting on December 8th.

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