NEW YORK, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Teachers in New York City’s poorest school districts became eligible for bonuses based on student’s performances on test scores this year.
The plan was realized after months of negotiation between the city's teachers’ union and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has pushed for bonuses to exceptional teachers for years, The New York Times reported.
The plan, which faced union opposition to perceived merit based rewards, is gaining momentum nationally and is likely to see increased favoritism in face of the plan in New York City.
“This agreement puts New York City at the forefront nationally in finding ways to reward such high-needs schools for performance,” Bloomberg said in the Times.
About 200 of the city’s poorest school districts are eligible for $20 million in bonuses this year. Committees established to assess individual performances will meet to appropriate the funds, which may amount to $3000 per teacher.
Union officials don't consider the new system to be a merit based program. Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers, said the program had enough safeguards not to be considered a merit system.
Bloomberg praised the decision saying it would “provide our best teachers with an incentive to work in high-needs schools.”