If a doctor, lawyer, or business professional can earn a six-figure salary, then good teachers deserve financial rewards as well, a Houston couple says.
Nancy and Rich Kinder have partnered with the KIPP Academies, a network of charter schools that offer an intensive college-prep program, to give an exceptional K-12 teacher each year the $100,000 Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award. The award, which Mr. Kinder conceived to honor his mother, a former teacher, is believed to be the largest unrestricted gift given to a teacher. The Kinders, who are also major Republican Party contributors, have worked with KIPP Academies on a separate award for KIPP teachers. Mr. Kinder is the chairman and chief executive officer of Kinder Morgan Inc., an energy supplier in Houston.
Candidates must be teaching full time in a public or private school where at least 50 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. The teacher must have measurable academic results in the classroom, judged by students’ scores on national or state standardized tests. KIPP Academy teachers are ineligible. A panel of education experts and leaders will choose the recipient, who can spend the money any way he or she wants. Nominations are due Dec. 31, and the winner will be announced next summer. For more information, go to www.kinderaward.org, or call (415) 531-5396.
A version of this article appeared in the October 05, 2005 edition of Education Week