They hit darn near every goal.
So the Payson school board last week approved $428,000 worth of merit pay increases for the district’s teachers for fiscal year 2018-19, paid for out of a voter-funded classroom fund.
Teachers and principals agree on three goals at the start of each school year. Teachers get a roughly $3,700 bonus if they meet all three goals — declining with each mark they miss.
This year teachers made 292 of the 306 goals, many of which key on student progress in testing or other academic measurements.
The state-mandated classroom site fund covered 95 teachers paid out of the general fund. The 2,300-student district has roughly another 30 teachers paid out of other funds — including federal and other programs. That includes five kindergarten teachers paid through federal Title 1 money
The average teacher in the district makes about $46,000 for a nine-month contract, so the merit pay bonus adds roughly 8 percent to the pay of the average teacher.
Statewide, the average teacher makes about $49,000, but that’s still one of the lowest averages in the country. Arizona’s nearly last in per-student funding and teachers here have to cope with the largest average class sizes in the country.
Most of the teachers in the district hit their goals and so qualify for the merit pay increase.
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