Newark Public Schools Celebrates its Most Effective Teachers with $1.3 Million in Merit Bonuses

Bonus Checks to Hit the Mailboxes of 190 Teachers Across the District this Week

[August 23, 2013 – Newark, New Jersey] Newark Public Schools (NPS) announced today the first merit-based bonuses in its history, issuing $1.3 million to its most effective teachers throughout the district. In total, 190 teachers will receive one of four types of bonuses, ranging from $5,000 to $12,500. Letters from Superintendent Cami Anderson, along with the checks, were issued on Friday, August 23rd.

“We are keeping a laser focus on ensuring the families of Newark have an effective teacher in every classroom,” stated Superintendent of the Newark Public Schools Cami Anderson. “We are thrilled to celebrate the success of Newark’s best and equally proud to set a new standard for our community where our best can be rewarded. Today’s announcement is a culmination of a great deal of hard work from many grassroots organizations uniting to improve our community. Together, with one voice, we are backing our hard-working teachers across the district and saying that greatness is not only something to aspire to but something that will now be rewarded.”

“Great teachers should be recognized and rewarded,” stated Newark Teacher’s Union (NTU) President Joe Delgrosso “The NTU is proud to have negotiated with the district a breakthrough contract and congratulates the 190 teachers who received their well-deserved merit bonuses.”

Today’s announcement finalizes the implementation of teacher evaluations in NPS for the 2012-13 school year and is the first series of bonuses that are due since last November’s ratification of the landmark three-year teacher’s contract, the state’s first to provide bonus pay based on classroom performance.

Elizabeth Corker, a Mount Vernon teacher who will receive one of the merit bonuses stated,“This is an honor to be among the first group of teachers who are being recognized for maintaining high standards for the benefit of our students. I am inspired by my students and will continue to expose them to the innovative and comprehensive instruction that is needed to master academic, social and emotional skills in preparation for college.”

Teachers who are paid on the Universal Salary Scale and receive a “Highly Effective” rating on the Annual Summative Evaluation, now earn a step on the salary scale for the following year and also are eligible to receive bonuses of up to $12,500.

Specifically, if a teacher who is on the Universal Scale is:

  • rated Highly Effective, s/he receives $5,000;
  • rated Highly Effective and works in a hard-to-staff subject, s/he receives an additional $2,500, for a total bonus of $7,500
  • rated Highly Effective and works in one of the lowest (25%) performing school, s/he receives an additional $5,000, for a total bonus of $10,000; and
  • rated Highly Effective and works both in a hard-to-staff subject and in one of the lowest (25%) performing schools, s/he would get all three bonuses for a total of $12,500.

The following is a breakdown of bonus payments of the 2012-13 academic year.

Bonus Type Bonus Amount Number of Teachers Total Amount
Highly Effective $5,000 102 $510,000
Highly Effective and in Hard-to-Staff Subject $7,500 41 $307,500
Highly Effective and in Lowest-Performing Schools $10,000 30 $300,000
Highly Effective and in Lowest-Performing Schools, and in Hard-to-Staff Subject $12,500 17 $212,500
Total 190 $1,330,000