Report: 144 Illinois school districts gave bonuses last year

Dec 27, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - Nearly 150 Illinois public school districts gave bonuses to teachers and administrators last school year. 

Credit Ilmicrofono Oggiono / Flickr/Creative Commons

The 144 districts represent 20 percent of all districts. Citing state data, about 3,100 people received a total of $5.5 million. The average was $1,750. 

Bonuses have become a common way to inspire educators to improve student achievement. But researchers say results are varied, and critics wonder whether it's a good use of tax dollars. 

Lake County's Community High School District 128 recently paid $500,000 in "performance recognition" checks, mostly to teachers for high student achievement. Administrators and custodians were also among those getting bonuses.

School Board President Pat Groody says it's a way to get people focused on "the concept that performance matters."