HISD Distributes Over $42 Million in Performance Awards

The Houston Independent School District is paying over $ 42 million in performance awards to teachers and principals, based on academic gains in core subjects in the past year. Ed Mayberry reports.


HISD Superintendent Terry Grier and 4th grade teacher Andres Balp at Lyons Elementary. Balp received all three bonuses and earned the highest teacher bonus in the district of 11,330 dollars.

Bilingual 4th grade teacher Andres Balp at Lyons Elementary receives the district's largest performance bonus of just over $11 thousand. HISD Superintendent Terry Grier is hopeful that the ASPIRE program will continue and at the same level of funding, but he's also worried about impending layoffs from statewide budget cuts.

"It's gonna be tough, because I foresee layoffs — teacher layoffs — across Texas, and I don't like that. If we get cut at the level that we keep hearing we're going to be cut, from the state, there's no question it will impact all levels of employees in the district."

The Texas legislature is considering a $6.7 billion cut to the Texas Education Agency — a decrease of 13.4 percent. Meanwhile, in his State of the Union address, President Obama wants 100,000 new teachers in mathematics, science, technology, and engineering.

"I think he fully understands that the key to this country's future is linked very tightly to the quality of education that our children are receiving in the public schools everyday."

With impending layoffs, yet the president calling for more teachers, why would anyone want to become an educator?

"Well, it's the same reason that people want to go into broadcast. I can promise you there's not a one of you at the places that any of you work that have the same number of people working there today that you had three years ago. We have to operate with a balanced budget, and just like the company you work for does. There's no question in my mind and anyone that's ever been around education that it does take more money to educate some children than it does others."

Dr. Grier says some 92 percent of eligible employees are receiving awards for helping students improve in the classroom.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...