Teachers’ signing bonuses on way | NevadaAppeal.com

Teachers’ signing bonuses on way

by Maggie O'Neill

The school board voted unanimously Tuesday night to ask the state to seek $2,000 signing bonuses for 37 new teachers in Carson City.

The $2,000 signing bonuses, approved by the Legislature in 2001, are paid by the state, according to Richard Stokes, Carson City School District associate superintendent of human resources.

“We need a vote to apply to the state for the money,” he told the board.

A vote was made and approved 5-0. The 2001 signing bonus legislation was passed to attract teachers to the state and to entice other teachers on break to return to teaching, Stokes said.

Another item before the board was the topic of hard-to-fill positions in school districts. State legislation requires that some math, science, special-education and English-as a second language teachers and school psychologists be given an additional one-fifth of a year of retirement credit each year.

“The thing that’s particular about this item is there is finite money and many teachers across the state eligible to receive it,” Stokes said.

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The state set aside $5.7 million to meet those needs, he said. But last year the school district paid 57 percent of the money toward retirement credit for those positions within the school district. The state covered 43 percent.

“That will again be likely,” Stokes said. “They’ll take that $5.7 million to divide up and we’ll find out how much we need to make up.”

He said he will make the request to apply to the state for its part of the funding at the next board meeting and that the law requires payment of the retirement credit.

Also at the meeting, school trustees heard from Superintendent Mary Pierczynski, who said all the public schools within the district had reviewed their discipline plans and submitted any changes to the state as required annually by a law passed in 1999.

“They had a deadline,” she said. “They met that deadline.”

Principals and teachers from Mark Twain Elementary School and Carson and Eagle Valley middle schools presented school improvement plans.

Several people, including Pierczynski and Ferd Mariani, principal of Eagle Valley, expressed sadness about the death of Eagle Valley Middle School science teacher Eric Anderson.

Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at mo’neill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.