A US billionaire is hoping to boost the morale of teachers in the US by increasing their pay packets out of his own pocket. Hedge fund manager Jim Simons is to offer an extra $15,000 (£10,000) a year to 800 mathematics and science teachers in the US. The founder of Renaissance Technologies, a company worth $22bn, said that the number of people being paid would increase.
"We give them extra money, $15,000 a year. We have 800 math and science teachers in New York City in public schools today, as part of a core," said Simons, during a Ted talk interview. "There's a great morale among them. They're staying in the field. Next year, it'll be 1,000 and that'll be 10% of the math and science teachers in New York [City] public schools."
He said he hoped the scheme would incentivise good teaching. "Yeah — instead of beating up the bad teachers, which has created morale problems all through the educational community, in particular in math and science, we focus on celebrating the good ones and giving them status," Simons said.
Teachers in the US are paid approximately $56,383 (£37,000) a year and Simons set up the Math for America 20 years ago with his wife, Marilyn, to promote mathematics teaching in the US.
Simons developed ways of explaining patterns in financial markets by adopting complex mathematics used to break codes.