House committee backs leadership pay for teachers

broberts@idahostatesman.comFebruary 17, 2014 

The House Education Committee approved a bill Monday that would provide $15.9 million to teachers through leadership awards, which is seen as the first step toward developing a career ladder pay structure for instructors.

Teachers who take hard to fill positions, teach dual credit courses, teach more than one subject or qualify in other ways could get awards of between $850 to $5,780 a year, Idaho Education News reports.

Teachers have been paid based on the number of years they work in a district and the number of college credits they amass, but that plan has come under criticism from lawmakers.

Gov. Butch Otter’s Task Force for Improving Education recommended moving to a careers ladder that would in raise teachers’ pay, but tie increases to improved job performance.

Tom Luna, state superintendent of public instruction, backed the House committee’s vote. “By approving the leadership awards portion of the career ladder this year, the Legislature will take an important first step this year that allows us as a state to take the critical second step next year and implement the full career ladder.”

The bill now goes to the full house.

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