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House Bill 533 — Master educator premiums

House Bill 533 — Master educator premiums

Kaitlyn Shepherd
February 11, 2022

Bill Description: House Bill 533 amends the law governing master educator premiums so that teachers and pupil service staff members who qualified for the premiums and later transitioned to administrative roles receive their three scheduled premiums.

Rating: -2

Does the bill allow schools to be more flexible, improve feedback mechanisms, and decentralize decisions to the family or individual level? (+) Conversely, does the bill add to the existing education bureaucracy? (-)

House Bill 533 makes changes to the law governing the “master educator premium,” a bonus awarded to some teachers. To qualify for the premium, teachers must satisfy a set of minimum requirements. School districts are free to add other requirements. Teachers who meet all the criteria qualify for extra payments of $4,000 per year for three years.

House Bill 533 amends the master educator premium law by adding that teachers or pupil service staff members who become administrators at a public school in Idaho still receive the pay premium(s) to which they were entitled. Under existing law, a teacher who leaves the classroom is no longer entitled to the premium(s). If passed, House Bill 533 would apply retroactively beginning July 1, 2020 and would continue in force until July 1, 2024.

House Bill 533 could add to the existing education bureaucracy by encouraging teachers at public schools to move to administrative roles. Rather than continuing to work with students, teachers could move to higher-profile administrative roles but still retain the premiums they earned while teaching. Although some teachers might fill existing administrative positions, rewarding teachers who become administrators could fuel bureaucratic bloat. Additionally, while the legislation would expire in July 2024, rewarding administrators based on the Career Ladder opens the door for similar programs in the future.


Does the bill create more transparency or accountability in public education institutions? (+) Conversely, does the bill reduce transparency and accountability in such institutions? (-)

Master educator premiums are tried to Idaho’s Career Ladder. As we explained previously, the Career Ladder rewards school district employees, including teachers, based on longevity and number of education credits they have earned, rather than on excellence and merit. Rewarding teachers and administrators in this way fails to fulfill the intended purpose of the Career Ladder, which was “to be linked to a system of accountability. However, when 98% of teachers are placed in the top two rating levels, it is clear there is no genuine system of accountability, but rather a system that rewards years of service and education credits instead of teaching excellence.”

House Bill 533 reduces accountability in public education institutions by awarding master educator premiums to administrators based on longevity and whether students are meeting minimum achievement standards rather than on teacher excellence and innovation.


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