HB1234 moves forward after amendment
House Bill 1234 encompasses the concepts of bonuses for top teachers, incentives for math and science teachers, and phase out of continuing contract proposed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard. Since the billís introduction, it has been amended substantially by the Legislature, and it could continue to change. Below is a short summary of the changes to date.
As the bill stands now, districts have three choices:
1) $5,000 bonuses for the top 20 percent of teachers (voluntary for teachers to participate; annual application process)
2) Opt out of the bonuses; money redistributed to participating schools
3) Create a local bonus system based on student achievement and teacher evaluation, and/or market-based needs
Math and Science Incentives
As the bill stands now, this piece of the proposal has turned into a tuition reimbursement style program. New math and science teachers would qualify for $8,000 annual bonuses, for their first five years of teaching, as long as they teach at a South Dakota public school. The program would apply to certified middle and high school math and science teachers. It also applies to any teachers who have and are using a math or science specialist endorsement. The $8,000 payment for five years is meant to help new teachers pay off their student loans and get established in their careers.
Other pieces of the bill, including the phase out of continuing contract (commonly called tenure), the requirement for a common teacher evaluation instrument, and the requirement for common standards and evaluation for principals, remain in place. To track the bill as it moves its way through the Legislature, visit legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2012/QuickFind.aspx and type in HB 1234.