Some Lincoln Elementary teachers earn $7,000 bonuses

Sep 21, 2023, 1:44 PM | Updated: 2:55 pm

SOUTH SALT LAKE – Teachers are some of the hardest workers out there, but they do not always get the recognition or compensation some say they deserve. 

Now, some teachers working in high-poverty schools could earn a bonus at the end of the school year if their students show growth. 

This is an incentive-based deal that Lincoln Elementary knows firsthand.

Principal Milton Collins said usually, there are a couple of teachers who earn that bonus.

Last year six teachers earned the bonus.

“It’s like a highlight of the school year,” Collins said. “When I say incentive, I’m talking $7,000 incentive.”

Prema Chruthoti is one of those six teachers at Lincoln Elementary who earned the special bonus at the end of last year.

State legislation makes special bonuses available for teachers in high-poverty school schools teaching kindergarten through eighth grade. 

While some different guidelines are used in certain grade levels, for Chruthoti, all her third graders took a test that measured growth at the end of the school year.

To get the bonus, 85% of students had to show growth based on that test. In her case, 100% of her students made the grade.

“I’m like a proud dad!” Collins said.

“The kids are the future society,” Chruthoti said.

The bonus can be used however a teacher wants to use it.

“I went to India and spent time with my family there,” she said.

While the money is a motivator, she said it is just that: A motivator.

“I feel like we are blessed. This is a calling for us to be teachers.”

The real reason she teaches bell to bell goes farther than a check ever could.  

“Lincoln is a high-poverty school. Parents trusting us to give their children that kind of education, we are thankful for the parents as well because they are believing in us. When they get where they need to be, that is a huge, huge thing for us teachers celebrating their growth,” Chruthoti said.

She said she is set to receive the bonus again this year, as the bonus is based on growth from the year before.

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Some Lincoln Elementary teachers earn $7,000 bonuses