INDIANAPOLIS (AP) —
More than 40 teachers in the Wayne Township district are giving their $42
state bonus to a local education foundation as a protest over the small
The bonus "doesn't
encourage anyone" to work in a district with poor families, English teacher
Jason Brumback told the Indianapolis Star. The $42 bonus compares to $2,422
given to Carmel teachers.
The sum of the 46
teachers donating their bonuses is less than the bonus of a single Carmel
"It is not
encouraging to know our legislators feel that our work is worth such a small
amount of money," Wayne Township teachers wrote in a statement posted online
and circulated on social media Wednesday.
The teachers said
bonuses tied to certain performance measures are unequal because not all
schools are the same. The largest share of $40 million in bonuses is going
to wealthier districts with higher test scores and graduation rates, the
Indianapolis Star reported. In some districts no bonuses were distributed to
highly rated teachers, due to test scores.
Superintendent Jeff Butts said test scores "don't tell the whole story." The
superintendent said he doesn't see the incentive grant making a significant
pledging to take another look at the formula.
According to budget
writer Sen. Luke Kenley, lawmakers previously reworked the formula to award
student improvement, not just for test scores. With changes in ISTEP, which
included a year where lower scores couldn't affect teacher pay and A-F
grades, "what happened was the exact opposite of what we tried to do,"