Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna has long used bonuses to retain talented staff members in his office and continue an office rewards program. This year, those bonuses totaled more than a quarter of a million dollars, Idaho Education News reports
For the last three years, Luna's office has doled out about $120,000 every year as "leadership bonuses" to up to one-third of his staff for meeting significant office goals and going above and beyond required duties. In his final year as superintendent, Luna handed out an additional $151,000 to 22 State Department of Education directors to retain key staff members. The total bill: $271,000.
That comes as state funding for public education for the 2014-15 school year ($1.37 billion) still lags behind the 2008-09 budget. Teacher salaries are also suffering, and Idaho has the lowest teacher pay
among any of its neighboring states with the exception of Utah.