Proposition 2: Pros and cons of bonus pay for teacher performance

Proposition 2: Pros and cons of bonus pay for teacher performance

by
Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
October 17, 2012
Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
Author Image
October 17, 2012

(Note: This is the second of a three-part series examining what a “yes” or “no” vote means on the state’s three propositions to be decided by voters in the general election Nov. 6. Tuesday featured Proposition 1. Thursday it will be Proposition 3.)

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If there is one of the so-called Luna Laws education reform measures that has voters and even some state officials confused, it is Proposition 2. Basically, it provides bonus pay for teachers based on state test results, performance of students and teachers willing to assume hard-to-fill positions and certain leadership roles in their schools.

Proposition 2 has caused no small amount of debate over whether teachers will be paid the bonus even if it is rejected by voters. There is no question the bonuses will be paid if it is approved. But even Tom Luna, state superintendent of public instruction, has said he will ask the state’s attorney general for a definitive ruling on paying the bonuses in the event Proposition 2 is rejected.

A yes vote supports and keeps in place Senate Bill 1110 (Proposition 2), which was passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor in 2011.

A no vote repeals that reform and reinstates the laws that were formerly on the books.

The Idaho Statesman contracted with Mason-Dixon Polling & Research of Washington, D.C., to poll 625 individuals who said they were likely to vote Nov. 6. With a margin of error of minus 4, the Statesman reports there is a 95 percent probability that its voter survey is accurate.

What it shows is an electorate that could go either way in approving Proposition 2 (a yes vote) or repealing the reform measure (a no vote). In fact, the polling numbers are almost identical to voter sentiment on Proposition 1 except that voters favor Proposition 2 by basically the same margin as they disapprove of Proposition 1. The poll, conducted during a three-day period last week, found 42 percent saying on Proposition 2 they will vote yes, 39 percent no, which leaves 19 percent undecided.

For Proposition 1, the figures were 42 percent no, 38 percent yes and 20 percent undecided.

Proposition 2:

On the ballot, voters will be asked whether to approve Senate Bill 1110. In short, the question before voters is this:

“Shall the legislation providing teacher performance pay based on state-mandated test scores, student performance, hard-to-fill positions and leadership be approved?”

What a “yes” vote means What a “no” vote means
Idaho’s public schools will institute a pay-for-performance system. Performance will not be used as a means of determining the pay of the state’s educators.
Student achievement and academic growth will allow teachers to earn bonuses above and beyond the criteria now allowed by law in which pay is based on teacher experience and education levels. Bonuses based on student achievement and academic growth won’t be awarded to teachers. Teachers will continue to receive pay based on experience and education levels only.
Teachers may receive bonuses for their work in hard-to-fill positions and for taking on leadership roles within the school. Bonuses for work in hard-to-fill positions won’t be awarded to teachers. Teachers will continue to receive pay based on experience and education levels only.
Teachers may receive bonuses for working in schools that meet student academic growth targets. Bonuses for meeting student academic growth targets won’t be awarded to teachers.  Teachers will continue to receive pay based on experience and education levels only.
Teachers may earn up to $8,000 in bonuses above their pay based on education levels and experience. All teachers will be paid based on a statutorily-defined pay grid that rewards teachers for education levels and experience.

 

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