Cuomo floats plan for teacher incentives

COURTESY PHOTO | Gov. Andrew Cuomo at last week's State of the State address.
COURTESY PHOTO | Gov. Andrew Cuomo at last week’s State of the State address.

Last week in his 2014 State of the State speech, Gov. Andrew Cuomo pitched a teacher incentive plan, which could total more than $6 million for “highly effective” teachers from Riverhead to Oysterponds.

Calling the incentive program the Teacher Excellence Fund, Mr. Cuomo stated that any teacher in New York rated “highly effective” under the state-mandated evaluation system would receive a $20,000 bonus, which he described as the first of its kind that offers, on average, 27 percent of a teacher’s salary.

Of 610 teachers in Riverhead, Mattituck-Cutchogue, Southold, Greenport and Oysterponds School Districts, 320 teachers received “highly effective” ratings last year.

Read a transcript of the governor’s address here

If 320 teachers received $20,000 bonuses, it could cost $6.4 million. The governor left out details in his speech noting how the bonuses would be funded.

“You want teachers who can perform and do perform?” he said during his speech. “Then incentivize performance with a performance bonus and pay them like the professionals they are.”

Local superintendents provided the Riverhead News-Review with their districts’ teacher evaluation results. Shoreham-Wading River’s ratings weren’t immediately available, and due to the small staff at New Suffolk School, results were not released..

School district Total teachers evaluated
Teachers rated ‘highly effective’
Percentage Cost, at $20,000 bonuses
Riverhead 321 148 46 $2.95 million
Mattituck-Cutchogue 137 90 66 $1.81 million
Southold 83 59 71 $1.17 million
Greenport 56 18 33 $369,600
Oysterponds 13 5 39 $101,400
Totals 610 320 52 $6.4 million