Perrysburg Schools teachers have a decision to make before Jan. 6: either take a 1.25 percent raise the next two years or opt-in an alternative salary scheme based on their work evaluations.
That change in pay is a key part of the new three-year contract the Perrysburg Board of Education approved for the 300 members of the Perrysburg Education Association.
The new contract, which is retroactive to the previous contract which expired July 31, has a bonus incentive from state grants to try to entice teachers to opt-in the performance-based pay. If teachers opt-in before Jan. 6 for the rest of this school year, each will receive a $1,500 bonus. If they opt-in for next school year in May, teachers will receive a $1,000 bonus. Perrysburg had $225,000 in grant money from the Ohio Department of Education to implement this system.
"It is radically different," Superintendent Tom Hosler said. "We're going against what we've done for years. I think teachers who are secure with the jobs they do will be very interested [in the opt-in pay]. I know a handful of teachers are already interested and asking questions about it."
Tom Przybylski, the president-elect of the teachers union, said, "I don't know how interest will be [for the performance based pay]. There's a mixed reaction with people checking out which is better. Some people don't like it, there's also some willing to give it a try."
For the next two weeks Mr. Hosler said the district will be meeting with buildings trying to explain it. He said he thinks some people just don't like change and will stay with the old pay scale and take the 1.25 percent raise in the new contract.
When teachers opt-in, it will be for the next two school years, which would take them to the next contract.
Currently, teachers move up levels of pay with years of experience or education obtained. Based on that level, a teacher can earn a few thousand dollars more a year on top of the 1.25 percent increase provided under the new contract.
The performance-based pay approach would enable teachers to to earn the new levels and receive a 1.25 percent raise or more. If teachers opt-in, the district will look at personal growth, organizational citizenship, student growth, collaboration, and attendance. That will be graded on a point system from 0-100, with monetary benefits going up to $2,000.
If a teacher earns 70 points under the program, he or she will earn a new pay level and $1,4000, and the teacher will receive 1.25 percent increase. The performance based pay grade scale will be reset every year and each teacher will have to re-earn higher pay, but the levels can be built on.
For teachers who do not opt in, the levels of pay will continue to be earned based on years experience and education. But, there's no ability to earn the extra money.
- For the components measured for those who opt in, personal growth will be determined by whether a teacher has a masters or is national board certified or takes part in five continued educational units to improve his or her teaching skills. Thirty points can be earned from this component.
- Organizational leadership, a component which allows teachers to earn up to 20 points, measures mentoring a newer teacher, co-operating in co-teaching environments, and filling out an after school activities sheet.
- Student growth, which can provide up to 20 points, will be determined on a teacher's state-mandated evaluation.
- Collaboration, which can provide up to 20 points, measures evidence of closing the achievement gaps in math, science, and reading of students measured by grades, team, or department student learning objectives.
- Attendance, a component worth up to 20 points, is measured by how many days a teacher misses. It allows for a teacher to be absent less than 5 days, not counting personal days, jury duty, medical emergency, personal day, military leave, religious holidays, and professional leave days. If a teacher doesn't miss a day, he or she earns all 20 points.
"Teachers who race out once the bus leaves won't get that next level," Mr. Hosler said.
Overall, Mr. Przybylski said he doesn't see any major changes in the new contract. There will be a big change only with the performance-based pay and then, only if a many teachers opt-in for it.