The principals of top-ranking city schools got their annual bonuses today, adding as much as $25,000 to some school leaders’ pay.
The bonuses, guaranteed under a city agreement with the principals union, went to administrators at schools with the highest scores on the city’s progress reports. A total of 275 principals and their assistant principals received bonuses totaling more than $5 million.
The bonuses went to the principals of some of the city’s most selective schools, such as the Anderson School for gifted students and Staten Island Technical High School, one of the city’s specialized high schools. But they also went to administrators at schools that serve low-performing students, including eight transfer high schools, which had their own bonus division.
In at least a couple of cases, the bonuses went to principals who have gotten into hot water. Darlene Miller, the principal of the NYC Museum School, received a bonus despite being arrested for driving drunk over winter break, as did Ling Ling Chou, who was removed as the Shuang Wen School’s principal last summer amid multiple investigations.
It’s the first year that the city is handing out bonuses to principals that it hasn’t also distributed funds to teachers at at least some schools. The city discontinued a program that rewarded teachers at select schools whose progress report scores increased, and a study concluded that it had failed to spur boosts in student achievement.
The bonuses go into principals’ pockets at a time when paltry school budgets have caused an unprecedented number of principals to file for relief. Chiara Coletti, a spokeswoman for the principals union, said the bonuses were “not out of line,” especially because city educators have gone without contracts and raises in recent years while the city has continued spending in other areas.
The full list of schools whose administrators are receiving bonuses for last year’s progress report scores is below.