Memphis Commercial Appeal - Bartholomew Sullivan
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., took to the Senate floor Thursday evening to plead for restoration of special incentive pay for teachers and principals at low-performing schools in Memphis and 15 other major urban school districts.
The funding was cut from $99 million to $200,000 for the fiscal year that began in October by the House of Representatives last month as Congress proceeds to fund programs in 2007 by continuing resolution. Spending bills covering education programs were among those the 109th Congress never completed last year before leaving town.
In Memphis, which received $3.1 million in teacher incentive fund payments for principals and teachers in 17 underperforming schools last year, the cut jeopardizes $12 million in funding over the next four years.
Memphis City Schools chief operating officer Michael Goar said the money is intended to identify teachers' best practices and principals who are great leaders and reproduce their successes.