Best and Brightest Update:
As you are probably aware, changes are coming to the Best and Brightest bonus scheme. Gone are the ACT/SAT requirements. In their place are three new bonuses: recruitment, retention, and recognition.
- “Recruitment” A one time bonus of up to $4,000. Newly hired K-12 classroom teacher who is a “content expert” in mathematics, science, computer science, reading or civics.” Neither the term “newly-hired” nor “content expert” are defined in law,
- “Retention” K-12 classroom teachers who meet all of the following criteria:
- Rated Highly Effective ($2,500 bonus) or Effective ($1,000 bonus)
- Taught in the same school for two consecutive years
- Taught in a school that “improved an average of three percentage points or more in the percentage of total possible points achieved for determining school grades over the prior three years.” Click here to see how many points your school has improved over the past three years.
- Recognition: K-12 instructional personnel who are rated highly effective or effective and are selected by their school principal. The bonus amount is not specified. The law does not provide criteria by which principals are to select teachers but does require school boards to adopt policies to determine the criteria. The recognition bonus would be paid out with whatever funds are remaining after the recruitment and retention bonuses have been allocated.
- Instructional personnel are defined in state statue as K-12 personnel including: classroom teachers, student personnel services, librarian/media specialists, other instructional staff, and paraprofessionals.
- While the “recognition” bonus does expand the eligible pool, it still excludes pre-kindergarten teachers and many education staff professionals. Also, the “recognition” bonus is likely to be smaller not just because of the expanded eligibility but because it is awarded with whatever funds are left over after the other bonuses have been awarded.