The wait is over — state announces bonus recipients

The State Board of Education notified at least 569 veteran Idaho teachers and pupil services staff that they are recipients of the Master Educator Premium.

Hundreds of teachers who applied for the bonuses endured a lengthy wait to find out if they would receive the award. The State Board initially said it would notify applicants last August, but portfolio reviews were sidelined by the pandemic.

Created by the Legislature, the premiums are a $4,000 per year bonus designed to reward the best veteran teachers in the state. The award automatically renews for three years so the total value for a successful applicant is $12,000, unless they stop teaching.

In all, 646 applicants applied this year, State Board spokesman Mike Keckler said in a news release. Educators who receive a notice they were denied for the award will receive an explanation and notice about whether they can appeal that decision.

The master educator premium program has experienced delays and pushback since its first rollout.

The class of new applicants is smaller than the inaugural class of teachers who applied during the first year of the program in 2019. Last year, the state approved 1,307 of 1,397 applications yielding a 94 percent approval rate.

Some qualified educators said the application process was too long and cumbersome so they didn’t apply.

Gov. Brad Little and the Legislature phased the program out earlier this year. That means this year’s class of applicants was the last to apply for the premiums.

Former EdNews reporter Clark Corbin contributed to this report.

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