McLaurin teachers and staff members earn incentives

Published 12:20 am Thursday, December 14, 2017


NATCHEZ — Teachers of the McLaurin Elementary School gave a portion of their high-growth incentives to assistant teachers and support staff in the school.

On Nov. 15 at a special board meeting, McLaurin Elementary School teachers received school recognition program funds after McLaurin rose from a D score to a C score in the 2016 state accreditation scores.

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Superintendent Fred Butcher and Deputy Superintendent Zan-dra McDonald said teachers in McLaurin wanted assistant teachers and support staff to receive some reward as well.

Twenty-two teacher assistants each received a $200 check Wednesday and Butcher said 12 support staff each would receive a $50 before next Monday.

“We’re happy to give a token of appreciation for everybody at the school at the time (of the 2016 state testing),” Butcher said. “In order to do that, some people had to make a sacrifice.”

Each of the teachers who received money on Nov. 15, Butcher said, gave a portion of their checks to make up the teacher assistant and support staff incentive.

The school recognition is based on how high the school’s scores rise.

Schools which score an A received $100 per-student. Schools which score a B received $75 per-student. Schools which rose from an F to a D or from a D to a C re-ceive $100 per-student.

McLaurin received approximately $64,900 for rising from a D to a C.

Butcher said many people had been disappointed that teacher assistants did not receive part of the incentive originally.

The reason teacher assistants did not receive the incentives originally, Butcher said, is because The School Recognition Program, which was authorized in 2016, only awards certified teachers and staff the incentive.

In an official opinion of Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, however, Hood says School Recognition Program incentives “may be granted to both licensed and non-licensed school district employees.”

The School Recognition Pro-gram language says the incentive may be given to “teachers and staff.”

The only statutorily exempt group is administrators, who cannot receive incentive funds.