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Indiana Department of Education releases Teacher Performance Grants for 2016

Posted at 6:15 PM, Dec 16, 2016

A state grant that boosts teacher’s pay is being questioned by a pair of superintendents asking, ‘Is it fair for some of the wealthiest districts in the state to receive millions of dollars more based on their high performing ISTEP scores?’

Carmel Clay Schools will receive the most money – more than $2,400 per teacher, while Beech Grove City Schools will receive just $165 per teacher.

The bonuses for effective and highly effective teachers are determined by the number of students who pass the ISTEP and graduate from a particular school.

The head of both school districts believe the way the grant is distributed needs to change.

"As I look at the distributions, I would have to wonder how they were fair. I think when I look at teachers throughout the state, they're all working hard,” said Steve Blair with Beech Grove City Schools.

Blair doesn't think those factors tell the whole story. He believes his district includes a transient population, and attendance is an ongoing challenge.

“I think that we have kids that grow just as much as other kids, but in a lot of cases, they start with a lot less skills," said Blair.

Carmel’s superintendent said the current model to measure a student’s growth isn’t working. This district will receive close to $2.5 million.

"I think there are some equity issue issues in it, to be candid,” said Nick Wahl with Carmel clay Schools. “I think there are opportunities to take that model and insert a formative growth piece for student performance that I think would really level the playing field for all the school corporations in Indiana."

Some districts will not receive any money, including the Anderson Community School Corporation.

The total appropriation from the state is $40 million.

The amount each district will receive, including how much individual teachers will be given, can be found here.