June 29, 2004
For the first time in three years, every teacher in the Scottsdale Unified School District has met every goal for receiving a $1,500 merit bonus.
The district’s 1,500 teachers are expected to receive checks this summer for meeting academic, technology, safety and training goals set by individual schools.
It is the third year teachers are eligible for the bonuses, approved by Arizona voters in 2000 to come from a .06 cent increase in the state sales tax.
"Teachers really work hard in this district," said Sue Kaminskas, the new president of the Scottsdale Education Association teachers union. "Instead of exclusively counting test scores, we looked at the broad breadth of all that teachers do and how they affect teachers."
The outgoing president of the association, Scott Barker, said the across-the-board merit bonuses partly are because of a change the union sought earlier in the year that allowed teacher performance to be measured not on test scores, but on the work leading up to the scores, including tutoring and class review.
Spokesman Tom Herrmann said the district is waiting for the state to announce how much the checks will be, but they are expected to be similar to last year’s bonuses.