Bonuses may ease pay crunch for some at Nampa Schools

The Nampa School District has received about $1 million for this school year from a statewide program that augments education salaries. That’s good news for some Nampa teachers and other employees who were stung by furloughs of up to 14 days as the district worked out its financial troubles.

Sixty percent of the money will go toward bonuses dispensed by individual schools based on their own plans.

In past years, the money went only to teachers. Superintendent Pete Koehler said other employees will be considered this year, too. Bonuses could go to employees “whether you are a lady working in the lunch room … (or) whether you are a Ph.D teaching,” Koehler said.

The funds average between $450 and $500 per person, though amounts to individual employees will vary.

Forty percent of the state money will go for professional development.

Koehler plans to set aside $100,000 for schools to pay stipends for teachers in leadership roles and teacher groups working on professional development. He is also talking with the district’s teachers union, the Nampa Education Association, about a plan to extend weekly professional development collaboration time among teachers through the rest of the 2014 school year at a cost of just over $300,000.

Nampa teachers meet weekly in what are called professional learning communities by releasing students from school an hour early once a week.

After budgets were trimmed for this school year, the district had only enough money to pay for the collaboration through March. The additional time would be eight hours, or the equivalent of one furlough day.

Jaimee Hoesing, Nampa Education Association president, said teachers support the plan.

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