Seymour teachers get grant funding


A total of 250 Seymour Community Schools teachers had a little more cash in their wallets this month after receiving teacher appreciation grants.

The corporation received $139,049.92 from the Indiana Department of Education to distribute to teachers who were evaluated and rated by school administration as effective or highly effective in the classroom during the 2016-17 school year.

This was the fourth year the state has provided funds for teacher bonuses and the most Seymour Community Schools has ever received.

Teachers who retired at the end of last school year were not eligible to receive the bonus because they had to be teaching at the time the money was released. New teachers hired at the beginning of this school year will be eligible in 2018 if the funding is still available.

Business manager Steve Nauman said the checks were sent out Dec. 15 with highly effective teachers receiving $615.69 and effective teachers earning $492.55.

Teacher evaluations are based on students’ ISTEP+ scores and growth, school accountability grades and input from school principals who spend time observing the teachers in the classroom.

The state required a minimum of 25 percent difference in how much effective teachers received in comparison to those rated highly effective, Nauman said. That was a change from past years, he added.

This year, the amount each school corporation received was tied to its average daily membership enrollment, so bigger districts received more money, because they have more teachers. In previous years, the bonuses were based on ISTEP scores and graduation rates and were called performance grants.

“It changes every year,” Nauman said.

Seymour received $69,752.08 for the 2015-16 school year. That money was divided among 243 teachers.

In 2015, Seymour received $108,243.99 from the state in teacher performance money. A total of 237 teachers received bonuses that year, earning $389.04 for teachers rated extremely effective and $1 less for those rated effective.

In 2014, the first year for the funding, Seymour received $123,305.25.

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