I have heard from teachers from many areas in the state about this year’s MS SCHOOL RECOGNITION PROGRAM and the extra money going to certified teachers bc of this program. In some areas, there appears to be some confusion over the money and how it is supposed to be allocated. And, as with many things in life, rumors have circulated about the actual numbers vs. the rumored numbers that teachers will receive. Hopefully, this post will clear that up for all interested parties.
I have attached the letter below from the MS legislature to Dr. Carey Wright at MDE, regarding the program, the funding, the stipulations and disbursement of the funding. This is a well intentioned program, aimed at rewarding teachers in successful schools or schools that showed impressive growth. After hearing from concerned citizens and educators statewide, it was determined by the legislature that the money would go directly to certified teachers, bypassing central office administrations, superintendents and school principals. Instead, teachers were to form teacher committees to determine how the funds should be allocated. Unfortunately, it appears that some schools and some teachers in the state are unhappy with the decisions of those committees. While well intentioned on the part of the legislature, the teacher committee stipulation should probably be eliminated in the future and in its place should be stipulated that ALL certified staff are to split the money evenly.
Below, I have attached a picture of the allocations for DeSoto’s schools. If a DCS school is not on the list, it is because that school is rated as a C or D school. (To the best of my knowledge, none of our schools were rated as F). The schools, not listed, did not receive money. I have also attached a link below that will take you to the amounts allocated to all of the schools in MS as a result of this program. If your child’s school is not listed, it did not receive money bc it was rated as a C, D or F school. The legislature awarded $100/student to all A rated schools and $75/student to all B rated schools. The pictures and link below should reflect the student enrollment at each school as well as the money allocated for it based on its enrollment number.
Now, here is where it has been tricky from my viewpoint and the viewpoint of many other educators. It is very easy for certain certified teachers to be overlooked. An example of those teachers are: teachers whose students are not in tested grades, certified activity teachers, coaches, counselors, SPED teachers, ELL teachers, literacy coaches, Math coaches and so on. Every person in a school plays a part, and no one wants to be told that they did not contribute to the success of a child. Not to mention, many of the teachers overlooked are individuals that work with these students for more than 1 year. A 3rd grade teacher, for example, has a child for one year. Many of the overlooked, certified teachers have students for multiple years and possibly as many as 6 years at a K-5 school. They all contribute to the success of each student even if their contribution isn’t visible to every teacher. In fact, the students that typically struggle and bring down the overall test results depend greatly on many of the overlooked teachers. Without them, those children may not ever show growth.
In closing, I will say this. Making big decisions about money, especially money for others, is not as easy as some would like to believe it is. Being a leader is HARD WORK! You will never make everyone happy. Hopefully, any certified teacher overlooked will not walk away at the end of the day feeling worthless or unappreciated. YOU ARE APPRECIATED! And hopefully, the truth about the numbers and the documented facts about this program (and shared below) will clear up any confusion or misinformation.
Link to all MS schools’ allocations: