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More DCPS Teachers Accepting Bonuses

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More "highly effective" DCPS teachers are taking advantage of performance-based bonuses this year than ever before.
More "highly effective" DCPS teachers are taking advantage of performance-based bonuses this year than ever before.

The number of "highly effective" D.C. Public School teachers offered and accepting bonuses has increased this year. This year, 670 teachers were eligible for bonuses and 70 percent of them accepted the money, a 10 percent increase over last year.

Jason Kamras, who oversees the bonus program, says there were a variety of reasons for the hike.

"We have a track record of paying these things and that's something DCPS has struggled with in the past," Kamras says. "And I think, second, people are recognizing that the strings that were attached were not too limiting."

Bonuses were awarded based on criteria including good evaluations, teaching in a school with majority low-income children, or certain subjects.  But teachers who accepted the bonuses have to give up some job security. They could lose their jobs due to program changes or enrollment declines at their school. 

DCPS also introduced a new program to boost base salaries where teachers rated "highly effective" for two years in a row get up five extra years of seniority. 

"We think it's really revolutionary and changes the game for teachers," says Kamras.

Kamras says a second-year teacher making $51,000 could see a base increase of $12,000 or $18,000 depending on whether they teach in a high-poverty school. Kamras says 80 percent of those eligible accepted the service credits.

Bonus Amount Number Eligible for Bonus Number Accepted Bonus
Less than $10,000 431 286
$10,000-15,000 231 182
$20,000 7 5
$25,000 1 1
Total 670 474


Years of Service Credit Number Eligible for Service Credit Number Accepted Service Credit
3 years 187 150
5 years 105 85
Total 292 235
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