The Houston Independent School District has distributed a record total of $31.4 million in performance bonuses to more than 15,000 employees for raising test scores last year.
The payout Jan. 28 is the most distributed since the controversial performance-pay system was launched three years ago, district officials said. Last year, the payout was about $24 million.
The Houston bonus system is among the largest in the country and was unanimously approved by the school board in 2006 over objections from teacher groups.
Almost 90 percent of the eligible employees, including teachers, principals, aides, custodians and clerks, received bonuses this year. Those who teach core subjects—English, math, reading, and science—have the greatest bonus potential.
A version of this article appeared in the February 04, 2009 edition of Education Week