Oregon School District Says No To Teacher Bonus Grant

Marion Herbert's picture
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

An Oregon school district has rejected more than $2.5 million in federal funds.

Oregon City — just south of Portland — turned down money that would have given performance-based pay bonuses to teachers, a controversial part of the Obama administration's education policy.

It's called the Teacher Incentive Fund, and it's meant to reward results. Oregon City actually applied for the money it's now turned down.

The government offered the $2.5 million for teacher bonuses based on evaluations and their students' test scores. The school district had actually been working on those issues before it got the grant.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan visited Oregon earlier this month and told an Oregon City teacher who complained about the grant's rules that he understood. He also said he wanted his department to be less bureaucratic and to support innovation. "I don't have any specific answer, but I'd love to continue the conversation, see if there's some flexibility," Duncan said.

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