Brittney Lofthouse – Staff Writer
Since 2017, teachers across North Carolina have received bonuses throughout the school year based on state promised bonuses centered around performance. The General Assembly budgeted different pockets of money to be awarded to teachers and school employees whom the local district identified as being top performing. The one-time merit bonuses have been given out to different teachers, teacher assistants and school system employees throughout the year, with the most recent being third grade reading teachers.
On Monday night, School Finance Director Angie Cook informed school board members that thousands of state dollars has been allocated to Macon County to award specific teachers who have achieved high standards based on the state directive.
“Macon County teachers care about students and instruction,” said Macon County Schools Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin. “They are among the best teachers that can be found anywhere in our state or nation. We are very excited for those teachers receiving the bonuses. These folks are very deserving of the recognition and extra pay.”
Seven Macon County third grade reading teachers received the $3,365 bonus for achieving high marks in reading. Teachers from all elementary schools received the bonuses.
In 2017, Macon County officials were charged with the task of developing a local plan on how to award merit bonuses to the top 25 percent of performing third grade reading teachers. The General Assembly’s budget included money for a pilot program designed to distribute bonuses to third-grade reading teachers whose students see the most growth in test scores.
“The bonuses are determined by the state,” explained Dr. Baldwin. “They are given to the top 25 percent of teachers (EVAAS growth) in 3rd through 8th grade reading and math. The top 25 percent in Macon County also receive a bonus for the same grade levels and subjects.”
Five fourth grade reading teachers also received state bonuses of $2,150 for receiving high test scores. Four fourth grade math teachers also received bonuses of $2,150. For 5th grade, two reading teachers and three math teachers received the $2,150 bonus.
Throughout the district, there were also two sixth grade math, five 7th grade math, and four 8th grade math teachers to receive the bonus.
Reading and math teachers weren’t the only ones recognized for their efforts at Monday night’s Macon County Board of Education meeting. Advance Placement and Career Technical Education (CTE) teachers were also slated to receive a bonus from the state. AP teachers received $50 for every student scoring above a level III on the AP exam and CTE teachers received $400, for every student earning a credential or certification as the result of the coursework. In Macon County, seven AP teachers and 1 CTE teacher, which in total received $4,736.60, were recognized for meeting the state standards.
Cook informed board members that because of the state allocated performance based merit bonuses, the district received an additional $99,576.26 to distribute to teachers.