- Associated Press - Thursday, December 22, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - More than 40 teachers in the Wayne Township district are giving their $42 state bonus to a local education foundation as a protest over the small award.

The bonus “doesn’t encourage anyone” to work in a district with poor families, English teacher Jason Brumback told the Indianapolis Star (https://indy.st/2i4LPry ). The $42 bonus compares to $2,422 given to Carmel teachers.

The sum of the 46 teachers donating their bonuses is less than the bonus of a single Carmel teacher.

“It is not encouraging to know our legislators feel that our work is worth such a small amount of money,” Wayne Township teachers wrote in a statement posted online and circulated on social media Wednesday.

The teachers said bonuses tied to certain performance measures are unequal because not all schools are the same. The largest share of $40 million in bonuses is going to wealthier districts with higher test scores and graduation rates, the Indianapolis Star reported. In some districts no bonuses were distributed to highly rated teachers, due to test scores.

Wayne Township Superintendent Jeff Butts said test scores “don’t tell the whole story.” The superintendent said he doesn’t see the incentive grant making a significant impact.

Lawmakers are pledging to take another look at the formula.

According to budget writer Sen. Luke Kenley, lawmakers previously reworked the formula to award student improvement, not just for test scores. With changes in ISTEP, which included a year where lower scores couldn’t affect teacher pay and A-F grades, “what happened was the exact opposite of what we tried to do,” Kenley said.


Information from: The Indianapolis Star, https://www.indystar.com

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