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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Bonus battle



You might think teachers, who regularly complain about their low pay, would smile at the thought of getting a bonus for a job well done.

The ongoing debate over performance pay has made clear that's not so, though. And now along comes a Martin County school where the teachers and non-instructional staff can't even find any pleasure in the decade-old recognition program - $100 per student - that the state gives to schools showing strong growth or continued high achievement.

The Palm Beach Post reports that Warfield Elementary, in Indiantown, got ugly as the staff battled over who should get what from the school's $60,000 award. It all boiled down to whether teachers deserve more than the rest of the school's employees.

The school's data entry clerk called the situation embarrassing, and told the Post she couldn't believe money would divide the school. One second-grade teacher, meanwhile, said she hoped she never had to go through this again.

Maybe she doesn't have to. The school always could just say no.

This story brings to memory the story of an A-rated Sarasota school that, in the first years of the recognition program, sent teacher and parent representatives to a Cabinet meeting in Tallahassee, check in hand, to tell Gov. Bush and the rest of the state's leaders to keep the cash. Wonder when teachers will stop liking their recognition award bonuses enough to stop taking them.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:25am]


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