However, by rejecting the changes, teachers could also be turning down a performance bonus after years of reduced or stagnant salaries.
Idaho introduced merit pay under the reforms approved in 2011 and teachers worked toward those financial incentives last year. But the bonuses won’t be paid out until Nov. 15, nine days after the referendum, and state officials say they can’t distribute the money if the laws are repealed.
The timeline is prompting outcry from the state’s teachers union, which is fighting to overturn the reforms authored by Idaho schools superintendent Tom Luna. Luna’s office counters that the bonus payout plan follows the law and the only barrier to handing out the money would be the referendum spearheaded by the union.
Luna’s department insists its hands are tied when it comes to the timing of the bonus payout because the law says school districts were to receive the money as part of their third funding installment for the year. Districts receive that third piece of funding Nov. 15. (AP)