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School bonuses are on their way

July 30, 2002

Deirdre Newman

The check is in the mail. Seriously.

The 11 schools in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District that

qualified for Governor's Performance Awards for the 2000-01 school

year will finally get their financial rewards, which have been on

hold since January.

The announcement was made Monday by state Secretary for Education

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Kerry Mazzoni. The awards were delayed because of the ongoing state

budget negotiations, said Hilary McLean, chief deputy press secretary

for Gov. Gray Davis.

The awards are based on the Academic Performance Index, which is

generated from the Stanford 9 exam and other standardized tests

students take each spring. The amount of the award is based on the

number of students who take the test at each school.

To qualify for the award, schools had to meet their overall

schoolwide growth targets and growth targets for all of their

comparable subgroups, such as Latino students and economically

disadvantaged students.

Newport Harbor High School was the only high school to qualify; it

scored $58,971. No middle schools made the cut, but 10 elementary

schools did, including campuses with a significant number of students

at risk of not fulfilling their educational potential, such as

Whittier and Wilson elementary schools in Costa Mesa.

Newport Harbor High School "showed marked improvement," said Peggy

Anatol, the district's director of kindergarten through 12th-grade

assessment. "To show big growth in all subgroups is commendable.

Everybody grew, not just one group."

The decision on how to spend the money has already been made by

most of the individual school-site councils, Anatol said.

This is the last year schools will reap the reward because it was

cut from the revised budget that was unveiled in May. With a

$23.6-billion revenue shortfall, slashing the award will save the

state $157 million.

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