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Performance Pay for Teachers

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When some Bossier Parish teachers opened their pay checks recently, they were surprised, seeing less than what they expected.

They can blame changes at the state level that no longer allow for increases in pay based on tenure alone.  This year increases will come in the form of stipend based on teacher performance.

" I think when the scores are released next month then we will have the information we need to release the stipend for those teachers," said Bossier School Superintendent D.C. Machen.

The scores, based on student test scores and classroom evaluations, will determine how much of a performance bonus  Bossier teachers will get.

For those who rate as  "Highly Effective"  they will get a $1,000.

Teachers who rate as "Effective Proficient" will get  $400.

For a rating of "Emerging Effective" teachers can expect a $100  check.    

What teacher  won't get at all this year is about $150 they normally get every three years for working in the district. That money is now going towards the stipend.

"The new compensation package is actually going to give  you greater benefit when you reach that highest level you can reach, " said Machen.

But achieving that level year after year could be difficult for even the most skilled of teachers, according to teacher representative Jackie Lansdale with Red River United.

"They (students)  could just not show up to school, there could be a disruptive element in the class and students could actually affect a teachers ability to get paid," said Lansdale.

That's because a teachers score  is partly based on how well students perform on state test  and no one seems to know the exact formula the state is using to determine a teacher's score.

The state determined that schools can increase pay for teachers based on the demand, effectiveness and experience. Each district was given the right to determine how much the increase can be. 

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