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Teachers may get $5,000 to teach at struggling schools

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Governor announces reward initiative

Teachers who are willing to move from an “A” or “B” graded school to one that received a “D” or an “F” will be eligible to boost their pay by $5,000, under an initiative announced Wednesday by Gov. Susana Martinez.

The initiative is two-fold. The state will reward 100 teachers who agree to move from a school with a high grade to one with a low grade. Teachers must commit to work at the school for at least two years to get the stipend.

Additionally, 300 teachers who are currently teaching Advanced Placement classes will be eligible for an incentive. Awards will go to teachers who increase the number of students successfully passing AP courses.

For the class of 2012, more than 4,800 students participated in AP courses, but just under 2,500 successfully passed. Students who successfully complete AP courses and exams receive credit toward graduation and credit toward a college degree at almost any university nationwide.

“Our teachers who take on the biggest challenges and deliver results for our students deserve to be rewarded,” Martinez said in a news release. “We need those teachers who are successful to share their practices in our struggling schools so that we can spread success across our state. We also want to help those AP teachers who are preparing our students for success at the next level and saving families money on tuition.”

As part of the initiative, the state Public Education Department will provide every school district with the names of students who did well on the pre-SAT. The intent is that districts will use this list to recruit academically capable students into AP courses.

Last school year, funds were provided for every sophomore to take the PSAT. According to Martinez’s news release, those results showed that only 40 percent of students who would be successful in AP classes were actually enrolled in those courses.

This announcement comes on the heels of another stipend program that Martinez rolled out Monday. That program would provide stipends to math and science teachers who commit to work in hard-to-staff schools.

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