New Indiana schools' chief Tony Bennett has found a way to fulfill a campaign pledge to provide performance pay to teachers, using a bit of a legal loophole. Bennett faced a sizeable opposition from the state's local teachers' unions.
Being state superintendent though, Bennett doesn't really have to worry about working out the details with the unions. Instead, he plans to send bonuses of $10,000 to $20,000 directly to each of the 12 high schools in the state with the most improved graduation rates, allowing the staffs at those schools to divvy the money up however they like. Since it's the state superintendent, not the district, writing the check, there will be no violation of local contracts, technically speaking, according to Bennett.
The Indiana State Teachers Association, not unexpectedly, is unhappy about the end run, as "compensation is a mandatory subject of collective bargaining...[which means] performance bonuses should be bargained," as well, according to union official Daniel Clark.