HISD Board of Education to consider signing/retention bonuses for select teachers

Bonuses would go to teachers in core subject areas at hard-to-staff schools 

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday will consider expanding the current signing and retention bonus program to include select teachers in core subjects at certain hard-to-staff schools.

The $5,000 annual bonus is part of a pilot program proposed by district administration. Eligibility is based on campus, as well as grade and subject taught. Teachers must be assigned to subjects in third through 12th grades that are tested by the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR. This includes high school level STAAR End-of-Course exams.

Teachers also must be working at a low-performing campus designated by the state as “improvement required” for at least the past three years. Campuses currently include: Alcott, Bastian, Blackshear, Dogan, Foster, Highland Heights, Kashmere Gardens, Ross and Tinsley elementary schools; Kashmere, Scarborough, Sterling, Wheatley and Worthing high schools; Sugar Grove Academy; and Woodson Leadership Academy.

In addition to the above requirements, teachers also must be in good standing to qualify. Any teacher who is on a growth plan, under investigation, or has been reassigned is not eligible.

“Quality teachers can make the difference for our struggling students, which is why we have long stressed the importance of having an effective teacher in every classroom,” said HISD Superintendent Terry Grier. “This recruiting and retention initiative should go a long way in helping us achieve that goal.”

If approved by the Board of Education, the signing and retention bonuses would go into effect for the 2016-2017 school year. Early estimates suggest almost 300 teachers could be eligible.

Also on Thursday, the Board of Education is expected to consider a revision to the district’s policy for naming and renaming school buildings and other district facilities. The proposed revision outlines a process for which school trustees could initiate the renaming of a facility, if they believe it to be in the best interest of the district. It calls for all new names to be in accordance with the district’s non-discrimination policies.

The board’s regular monthly meeting begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in the board auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th Street. View the full agenda. Watch live online at www.hisdtv.org.