Funding teacher merit pay is factor in Nevada

Nevada and the Clark County School District are slowly starting to implement merit pay practices of their own, which would monetarily reward teachers when their students succeed.

The biggest step at the state level has been Assembly Bill 229, which Gov. Brian Sandoval signed into law last spring.

Part of the bill requires local school boards to establish performance pay programs for teachers. But the state hasn’t provided any money to support these merit pay programs, said Keith Rheault, state superintendent of public schools.

“For that reason, there hasn’t been much traction,” he said.

The merit pay provision doesn’t take effect until July 2013, giving the Legislature time to identify funds, Rheault said.

The Clark County School District also is exploring merit pay programs. The district’s new website allows teachers to share their effective lesson plans. “In the future,” the district plans to pay teachers whose plans are adopted by others, district spokeswoman Amanda Fulkerson said.

“Due to serious budget constraints, it’s hard to implement any spending programs,” she said.

The district’s empowerment schools have been given flexibility to give bonuses to teachers. To receive the bonus, a teacher’s students must pass No Child Left Behind’s ranking system, Adequate Yearly Progress.