It is hard to differentiate between real news and speculation. This time, maybe the rumor mill is hinting at what is actually possible. According to the Miami Herald, Senator Simmons has said that up to $200 million may be proposed for an expanded teacher bonus program. This is a four fold increase.
The program is designed to recruit high achieving college graduates into teaching. Representatives Richard Corcoran and Manny Diaz agree that discussions are underway. The negotiating points include not only money, but who would be eligible for the bonus payments.
The questions remain over the use of high school SAT/ACT scores to predict teacher excellence. A new wrinkle in the debate about using the bonus to recruit teachers to serve in low performing schools was floated by Senator Simmons. While across the board raises may be preferred by many teachers, specific needs, like this, may have to be met by salary incentives. The debate will continue for another month or so.