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CMS principals get bonus - teachers ask what about them?

Published: May. 13, 2021 at 7:11 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte - Mecklenburg School District (CMS) has sent a letter to principals informing them they will receive a bonus this year.

This is part of the letter principals received.

“We are pleased to announce that this year we will be awarding a local bonus to all current principals hired prior to January 1, 2021. We recognize this has been a unique year in which many performance measures used in previous years to determine bonus amounts were either not available or incomplete due to COVID 19.”

Steve Oreskovic is co-chair of the Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Council (STAC). He has taught in CMS for 25 years. He says he doesn’t have a problem with the bonuses because they are built in each principals’ contract. His concern is what about the teachers.

“What I have a problem with is CMS not looking at the teachers and the staff in the schools and trying to find something for them,” Oreskovic said. “You’ve got other districts - you’ve got Wake County offering a $500 bonus. You’ve got smaller counties around the state offering up to a $1,000.”

His other concern is the principals getting a bonus without performance measurements.

“As a data-driven district, I would think that we need to look at the data too because you’re having teachers going through observations and everything this year. I would think that they would uphold that for everybody,” he said.

CMS says bonuses will equal $5,000 for principals who have been on the job for at least two years and $2,500 for the rest. Teachers don’t want the district to leave them out.

“I would hope that they are valuing us as they really need to because the principals aren’t going to be earning those bonuses without the boots on the ground, without their teachers leading, without their teachers working with the students directly,” Oreskovic said.

CMS did issue this statement acknowledging the bonuses and mentioned rewarding teachers.

“Bonuses were recently announced recognizing CMS principals for their efforts leading students and staff through extraordinary challenges due to COVID-19 during the 2020-21 school year. Leadership is also looking at opportunities to recognize our hard-working teachers for their contributions during this challenging school year.”

Many teachers hope so but they say it would have been nice

“There’s got to be a way to do something,” Oreskovic said. “And I think it would have been fantastic if they could have done it last week for teacher appreciation week. That would have been such a morale booster for teachers but to know that they are looking at something. I am hopeful that they will. I know that they understand how incredibly hard teachers have worked this year.”

As the Co-Chair of STAC, Oreskovic said he has mentioned several times to CMS leadership that teachers should be rewarded. He hopes that happens sooner rather than later.

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