Recruitment & Retention

New Orleans Soliciting Businesses For Bonuses

By David J. Hoff — May 01, 2002 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The school district in New Orleans is offering bonuses to newly certified teachers—and looking for help to pay for the incentive.

The Orleans Parish district has more than 700 uncertified teachers among its faculty of 5,700, and is asking businesses in the city and the surrounding area to donate money toward the signing bonuses it plans to give to new certified teachers starting in the fall, said Al Davis, its the chief executive officer.

He said the 73,000-student district would match the donations with its own money. “If 100 businesses send from $500 to $2,500, I would be elated with that,” Mr. Davis said.

New Orleans’ Recruit A Certified Teacher program— or REACTis one of many novel approaches that urban districts are using to hire or train qualified teachers to address shortages. (“Urban Districts Employing More Aggressive Hiring Tactics,” Oct. 3, 2001.)

In addition to REACT, the district is offering evening courses at its offices that teachers need to earn certification in their fields. But the district has decided that it needs to do more, Mr. Davis said.

A New Twist

To lure certified teachers— either new to or already in the profession—New Orleans will pay bonuses of $1,000 to $5,000. Mr. Davis said he expects to hire enough new certified teachers over several years to replace the uncertified ones now in the classroom. If the district pays an average $3,000 bonus to 700 new teachers, it will need to raise a total of $2.1 million in public and private funds, a figure that could be spread out over several years.

The money from businesses will offset some of the district’s costs. The New Orleans economy relies on tourism, casinos, and oil refineries.

As of late last week,the district had received one $2,500 check and promises that more checks are on the way, said Linetta McIver, a district spokeswoman.

In the past decade, many districts have worked with banks, real estate companies, and relocation services to help teachers cut their costs in settling into a new area, according to B.J. Bryant, the executive director of the American Association for Employment in Education, a Columbus, Ohio-based group representing school human-resources directors. This is the first time Ms. Bryant has heard of a district raising private money to pay for signing bonuses.

Paying such bonuses “is an idea that’s been around a long time,” she said, “but it’s become a lot more common now.”

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the May 01, 2002 edition of Education Week as New Orleans Soliciting Businesses For Bonuses


Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Science Webinar
Close the Gender Gap: Getting Girls Excited about STEM
Join female STEM leaders as they discuss the importance of early cheerleaders, real life role models, and female networks of support.
Content provided by Logitech
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Achievement Webinar
Mission Possible: Saving Time While Improving Student Outcomes
Learn how district leaders are maximizing instructional time and finding the best resources for student success through their MTSS framework.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Recruitment & Retention 4 Actions Districts and States Can Take to Increase Staff Diversity
A report offers concrete steps for districts, charter organizations, and states to boost the racial diversity of their K-12 workforce.
5 min read
Image of diverse hands in a team huddle.
Recruitment & Retention What Districts Can Do to Prevent Teachers From Quitting Mid-Year
Routine, actionable feedback and small gestures of appreciation go a long way, superintendents say
5 min read
Illustration of woman exiting room.
iStock / Getty Images Plus
Recruitment & Retention Want to Keep Top Teachers? Consider More Flexible Work Arrangements
The pandemic increased employees' desire for flexibility. Acting on it can help schools hire and keep good educators.
4 min read