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Bonneville teachers receive merit pay, average $5,000 bonus

Teachers across Idaho will be given pay-for-performance checks for a job well done.

The State Department of Education says 8 out of every 10 educators earned bonuses. A total of $38 million will go to school districts and public charter schools; from there it’s passed out to the teachers.

For Ammon Elementary Principal, Lanie Keller, it was the best way to start a Friday.

With 18 checks in hand, Keller, walked through the halls and hand-delivered them to his staff. He said it’s not often they’re recognized for their work.

“Our district is a high performing district,” said Keller. “Ninety-seven percent of our teachers will receive a check today.”

The Idaho State Department of Education said 499 schools around the state qualified for merit pay by showing student performance and growth.

“The students had to work hard for their scores to be raised enough for all of us here to be able to earn the merit pay,” said Mackintosh.

Although voters struck down proposition two, which involved merit pay, fifth grade teacher Carene Mackintosh said the concept of pay-for-performance isn’t a bad one.

“It’s a good idea. I do think they need to revamp it and get input from educators and teachers to help it be a fair proposition,” said Mackintosh.

And Principal Keller agrees. He said the Legislature will most likely re-visit the pay-for-performance concept during their next session.

“It’s reassurance that the public appreciates what they do,” said said Keller.

A spokesman for the Bonneville School District says the average bonus amounts for teachers in the district is around $5,000 before taxes and retirement.

Teachers who earned merit pay can expect their checks by Dec. 15.

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