The more than 3,400 Denver public-school teachers who signed up for an alternative pay system received about $25 million in bonuses during the 2009-10 school year. Principals and assistant principals earned $2.1 million in incentive pay, and administrators earned more than $275,000. Bonuses are paid based on student achievement, teaching in difficult-to-hire positions and in schools with high poverty rates. However, union officials have criticized the program, saying it was intended to keep high-performing educators in the classroom by increasing their pay over time, but now has turned into "a one-time bonus system."
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