'Best & Brightest' teacher bonuses will continue another year, under budget deal
Over opposition from rank-and-file lawmakers and other critics, the controversial “Best & Brightest” teacher bonus program will continue for at least one more year — and with $5 million more in funding.
Under a compromise struck to favor House leaders, the Senate has agreed to allocate about $49 million in 2016-17 to reward “highly effective” teachers based on their SAT/ACT scores.
That’s the same controversial manner in which the program was enacted last summer. Senators this session wanted to avoid that by having a floor vote on the “Best & Brightest” policy but haven’t had that opportunity.
So, the budget deal has spurred frustration and backlash from most Democrats and some Republicans — particularly in the Senate.
The deal was announced late Monday evening, when House and Senate appropriations chairmen revealed publicly the proposed education budget for 2016-17 and other remaining budget items — the product of days of closed-door negotiations. The final total budget is expected to be printed overnight so lawmakers can vote on it in time for session to end as scheduled on Friday.