Idaho Teacher on Luna Law Incentive Plan: 'It Makes Me Physically Ill'

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Some Idaho teachers, upset by the pay-for-performance piece of the Luna Laws, say they're so upset that they're thinking about pooling their own bonus money just so other teachers know they're appreciated.

The incentive program, part of the Students Come First initiatives, is one of three measures that Idaho voters are being asked to accept or reject on this year's election ballot.

This morning's Coeur d'Alene Press reports that bonus-receiving educators at Lake City High School are particularly upset that their cross-town colleagues at Borah Elementary [both in Coeur d'Alene] won't be receiving any extra cash.

"It actually makes me physically ill," teacher Amy Bellamy told the Press. "Everybody is carrying this huge burden around. It's just so wrong."

The bonuses are configured by a matrix that includes parent input and students' results on the Idaho Standards Achievement Tests. Individual districts were also given the option of adding their own criteria.

In particular, teachers pointed to colleagues that teach in lower socio-economic neighborhoods.

"Those teachers are hopeless, frustrated, sad, unappreciated, and they don't have any immediate control over what those students do on an ISAT," teacher Sandy Midgley told the press. "They work so hard with these little ones."

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