Brown Proposes Signing Bonuses for Teachers

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Republican candidate for governor Roy Brown says signing bonuses of $10,000 should go to some of Montana’s beginning teachers.

Brown’s proposal would require legislative approval.

Brown says that in allocating the bonuses he’d like to emphasize rural areas. Rural schools often find teacher recruitment harder than do urban schools.

Brown has not settled on how many teachers would get bonuses. If the number was 500, as in 2003 legislation that he co-sponsored, the cost would be $5 million.

Brown is running against Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer. Campaign spokesman Harper Lawson says Schweitzer has worked to strengthen teacher recruitment and retention though measures such as loan forgiveness that reduces college debts of newly minted teachers.