Next year, Florida will still pay teachers in part on the basis of the teachers’ own SAT or ACT scores from high school. But because the Senate budget position on the program prevailed, the amount will not be very much.
The House had proposed paying a $10,000 annual bonus to each teacher who had earned an SAT or ACT score at the 80th percentile or higher when the teacher was in high school as well as a rating of “highly effective” in the previous school year. According to the House, 4,500 teachers would have been eligible for these bonuses, giving a bill of $45 million in the 2015-16 school year.
The Senate countered with an offer to fund the program at the $5 million level in 2015-16, distributing this amount equally among all eligible teachers.
In the last minute negotiations between the chambers’ lead budget negotiators yesterday, the Senate position prevailed. If 4,500 teachers are eligible for the bonuses, each will receive a check for a little more than $1,000.
The program was inspired by the well-established but weak correlation between a teacher’s college entrance exam score and student achievement in math.