At long last Idaho’s teachers may have an alternative to receiving the 30th (or 45th for new teachers) lowest salary in the nation. Under the Career Ladder legislation passed last year to boost teacher salaries, a master teacher premium of up to $4,000 for three years was included. The Idaho State Board of Education on May 19 adopted a set of rules by which teachers could attain such premiums, which will go into effect in 2019.
Teachers with at least eight years of experience and working three consecutive years up to applying can submit a portfolio documenting student learning environment, professional skills, and leadership to an independent review committee that will determine if they meet the criteria for a bonus. Applicants also need to meet mastery and student achievement goals for at least three of the past five school years. After approval teachers will receive a $4,000 bonus for three years, and subsequently (every three years) they can resubmit an updated portfolio. Theoretically, it’s possible for teachers to receive a master teacher premium for the rest of their career.
Original guidelines for the master teacher premiums included student achievement scores and teacher evaluations by their administrators. The portfolios to be reviewed by an independent committee is a much better idea than putting administrators in charge, which could create its own complications, by putting management in the unusual and uncomfortable role of parceling out bonuses.
While it is unclear how many teachers will apply, the Idaho Education Association Executive Director Robin Nettinga has heard mixed messages from teacher members. Some say the process will be too time-consuming while others don’t think the application process will be a big deal. The premium plan is supported by the Idaho Education Association and the Idaho School Boards Association.
“Idaho Teacher Salary.” Teacher Portal. www.teacherportal.com/salary/Idaho-teacher-salary.
Kruesi, Kimberlee. “State Board OKs Plan to Roll Out Master Teacher Pay Bonuses.” Twin Falls Times News. 21 May 2016. www.magicvalley.com.
Richert, Kevin. “State Board OKs Plan for Master Teacher Premiums.” Idaho Education News. 19 May 2016. www.idahoednews.org/news/state-board-oks-plan-master-teacher-premiums/