Last Modified: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 10:51 AM
A teacher’s effectiveness will now play a role in their pay — a new system that comes with its share of challenges for Calcasieu Parish.
The district must adopt a new teacher salary schedule that includes three components: effectiveness of the teacher, demand and experience.
“Demand includes geography, where are they teaching, their subject matter, their degree. All of those can be demand issues,” said Karl Bruchhaus, the chief financial officer for the Calcasieu Parish School Board.
“But no one of those three can represent more than 50 percent of a teacher’s salary going forward.”
The new salary schedule is required by Act 54 and is tied in with the Compass evaluation system, which began in August.
If a teacher is rated ineffective, the teacher cannot receive any salary increase for the following school year. The law also says no teacher’s salary can be decreased as a result of the new schedule.
One of the challenges of creating the new salary schedule, Bruchhaus said, is that it must be “cost neutral.”
“The idea is to transition to the new mandated schedule with it costing about the same thing, which is quite a challenge,” Bruchhaus said.
“We’re converting from a schedule that we’ve been using for so many years, which just includes degree and years of experience. Those have been the only two components basically forever. Now adding the new components, it’s hard to do with no additional money.”
Bruchhaus said a group of financial officers from around the state recently met with state Department of Education officials to look at salary schedule examples that fit within the new guidelines.
“There were models that converted all of the teachers to a base salary. In other words, you collapsed everything into one line in the salary schedule depending on where they fit in their current salary. Going forward, they get supplements for how they perform. Another concept was to have five or six salary amounts and if you were effective for a certain number of years then you would move to the next-highest salary,” Bruchhaus said.
“There are several models that are being toyed with. We are not required to use any of them; we can come up with our own. It just has to meet these mandates.”
As one of the largest districts in the state, Calcasieu has an extra challenge in implementing a new salary schedule.
“Right now we have this salary schedule plugged in to our accounting system. They press a button and everybody rolls up a year,” Bruchhaus said.
“Under the new system, that is not going to be able to happen because it depends on how effective the teacher was whether they roll up or how much they roll up to. It’s going to force us to touch the record of all 2,500 teachers.”
The timing of the new schedule’s implementation is also proving to be difficult.
“The other challenge for us is the fact that we will likely not get the teacher evaluation information that is turned in until August,” he said. “So we’re going to adopt a salary schedule and have to enter information for 2,500 teachers, but we can’t start doing it until August for the end of August/beginning of September check.”
Bruchhaus said he is collecting data and determining how much money Calcasieu has to work with.
“We’re not against the concept at all. Performance pay is kind of a nationwide issue right now, and we understand we have to accomplish what we have to accomplish. It’s just we have a few challenges in taking that next step.”
He said he expects to present a final salary schedule plan to the School Board in December. If the board agrees to it, the schedule will be sent to the Department of Education for final approval.
The new salary schedule will go into effect July 1, 2013.
Posted By: Doug On: 9/24/2012
Title: So Much Educational BULL!!
Education in the U.S. was at its very best up thru the 1970's; after that time it has all been DOWNHILL, no matter what "new" implementations are conjured up. In fact, the decline seems to be directly related to all the "new" implementations. Moving forward things will only get worse. Pitiful!!