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Washington’s $10,000 bonus helps retain teachers, UW study finds

Washington state has been offering a 10,000 bonus to incentivize K-12 public school teachers to work at low-income schools for the past 11 years, and research shows it’s actually now paying off. (Photo: Pixabay)

SEATTLE – Washington state has been offering a 10,000 bonus to incentivize K-12 public school teachers to work at low-income schools for the past 11 years, and research shows it’s actually now paying off.

A new University of Washington study finds that the bonus, handed out in two installments: $5,000 for completing certification from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards and another $5,000 for teaching at a high-poverty school, has improved recruitment and retention efforts at those hard-to-staff places.

On top of that, Washington has the third highest count of nationally certified teachers – 10,135 to be exact, further suggesting that the bonus may have led educators to complete the one-to five-year training program.

The possibility of teachers leaving after collecting their bonuses the following year, well, that was down, too. The study found about a 31 to 41 percent lower turnover rate among those educators.

There's hope for teachers, yet.


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