The Houston ISD superintendent is going to get a $67,250 bonus from the same incentive pay program -- which is more than the yearly salary of almost every one of his teachers.
In January, the Houston Independent School District (HISD) started awarding merit pay, or "bonuses," to teachers. Then, last Friday, approximately 100 of those teachers were asked to return their pay checks. Now, principals are receiving larger bonuses than teachers.
A higher percentage of principals -- all of whom are paid more than teachers -- are receiving a larger bonus than the teachers in the schools.
The average teacher salary in the Houston Independent School District (HISD) is $48,000. An estimated 58 percent of the district's teachers earned bonuses earlier this year, and the average payout was about $1,850.
In stark constrast, HISD principals make between $75,000 and $100,000. An estimated 83% of principals will get checks that average average $4,800.
From today's Houston Chronicle article, "Most HISD principals to get bonus":
"That sounds like a tremendously high percentage (of principals) that qualified for something off the backs of the teachers," said Fallon, whose Houston Federation of Teachers represents about 6,500 members.Teachers also work very hard, and many of them were unhappy that they didn't receive bonuses -- but apparently, that's not as big a concern as keeping administrators happy.
But to Ray Reiner, an advocate for HISD administrators, the high number of principals slated for a reward is welcome news. Reiner said he was worried some deserving principals would end up empty-handed and distressed.
"If they didn't all get the bonus, then those who didn't receive it will be unhappy because they all work very, very hard. They put in a lot of hours," said Reiner, who represents about 600 principals and other employees as executive director of the Houston Association of School Administrators.
Merit pay is a failed policy, and the disaster that is unfolding at HISD is a case study in that disaster in action.