After two years of wrangling, Washington, D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee has reached a tentative deal with the teachers’ union, reports the Washington Post.
The proposed pact, which must be ratified by union members and approved by the D.C. Council, provides teacher salary increases of more than 20 percent over five years, with much of it paid for through an unusual arrangement with a group of private foundations that have pledged to donate $64.5 million.
. . . The agreement includes a voluntary pay-for-performance program that will allow teachers to earn annual bonuses for student growth on standardized tests and other measures of academic success.
Rhee and her school principals will be able to retain highly rated teachers with less seniority, if layoffs are needed. The greatest weight would be given to the previous year’s evaluation, while seniority would receive the least weight, the Post reports.
. . . Those unable to find new positions in the system could take a $25,000 buyout, or retire with full benefits if they have at least 20 years of service. They could also spend a year searching while still on the payroll, although they would be subject to dismissal after that.
The pay raises will be funded by foundations created by Eli and Edythe Broad, Laura and John Arnold, Robertson and the Walton Family. These choice-oriented foundations must be eager to get performance pay.
Washington Teacher has more details on the contract.
Given what’s happening in other school districts, it sounds like a good deal for teachers.