By Peggy McGlone/The Star-Ledger
A year after Newark overhauled its teacher compensation system – replacing automatic salary increases with a performance-based model – the school district said it paid out $1.3 million in bonuses as part of $51 million in additional compensation.
But the majority of the new money, about $31 million, went to 4,500 teachers and other staff members in one-time payments for agreeing to the contact, the district stated yesterday in a report commemorating the contract’s one-year anniversary.
Additional stipends and one-time payments were also made in exchange for longer school days, to bridge the gap between the old and new systems, to teachers with advanced degrees who elected to remain on the existing pay scale and for those opting out of the district health care coverage.
When the accord was first announced, it was hailed as “ground-breaking” for linking classroom performance with pay raises. But the $1.3 million in bonuses is pennies on the dollar spent on across-the-board increases in the first of the three-year deal.