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Friday, August 17, 2007

Teacher Bribes...

Should teachers be bribed to show up for work?

There is a Texas school district that is contemplating bribes to have teachers not use their sick days when they aren't sick.

School superintendent of a Texas school district, Dr. Larry Lewis, notes that highly qualified teachers have a high absentee rate on Monday and Fridays. He wants to reduce the teacher absentee rate and save the district money buy not paying for substitutes to cover those absent teachers.

Dr. Lewis is calling this program the equivalent of an "incentive or merit pay" system to motivate teachers to not to slack off during the school year.

Dr. Lewis notes that teachers receive 10 sick days per year and cost the district $65-$80/day to replace them with highly qualified substitutes.

His bribe plan:

  • "Teachers who miss less than two days can win a $30,000 Cadillac CTS"
  • "Other employees can win a 7-day cruise for two"
  • "School with the fewest staff days off, wins $50 Wal-Mart gift cards"

Now, I always thought that "incentive or merit pay" was for something above and beyond the usual requirements of the job. Showing up for work when you aren't sick would seem to be "expected" wouldn't it?

If the goal here is to save the money being shelled out to substitutes (10 days/teacher/year), how about a cost savings incentive plan?

Let the teachers "roll over" unused days into the next year? Better yet, allow the teachers to "cash out" unused sick days at 1/2 substitute pay rate.

The district saves 1/2 the money it would have shelled out for "guest teachers" and every healthy teacher gets a yearly bonus.

But at the indicated (high end) substitute rate of $80/day, that would only mean a measly, maximum bonus of $400/year. Clearly too small to be much of an incentive.

Problem solved: Increase the daily sub rate to $100-150/day!
(I bet that Texas substitutes haven't had a rate increase in the last five years).

(...Thanks to Darren of Right on the Left Coast for the find!)

4 comments:

Darren said...

Besides, teachers aren't supposed to set foot in (non-unionized) Wal*Mart. The NEA tells us not to!!!

The MAN Fan Club said...

In Joplin Missouri a teacher was able to buy back days. That would be nice!

TheMANFC

The Vegas Art Guy said...

The NEA can afford not to shop at Wally World, so it's easy for them to make pronouncements from on high.

The little people on the other hand, live in the real world with budgets and child care expenses etc...

Anonymous said...

My school district lets us roll sick days over from one year to the next - it becomes our short term disability leave. AND if you don't use any of your sick days you get a bonus that I hear is on the order of a couple of hundred dollars. (Wouldn't know - I've always used some of my sick days - I feel it's not fair to go in to work sick and make others sick too.) You get a bonus for not using either of your 2 personal days too - paid at the sub rate of $65/day. Hardly worth it by the time you've paid the taxes on it. I plan on using my personal days next year.