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SCHOOL TRUSTEES APPROVE TEACHER INCENTIVE PLAN

June 23, 2015
 
The Granbury ISD Board of Trustees approved a teacher incentive compensation plan during a special called meeting on June 22, 2015.
 
The Granbury Teachers Excellence Initiative (GTEI) allows teachers to build a portfolio in order to receive additional compensation beyond a general base salary increase. The program, which will begin in the 2015-16 school year, includes three main components:
 
  • Professional Development/Collaboration: Teachers must have a minimum of 30 documented hours of additional training or professional development. For this category, the employees could also use additional teaching certifications, graduate degree programs, supervision as a mentor teacher or of a student teacher, service as a trainer, development of a project based learning initiative for district curriculum, and additional learning opportunities for students outside normal working hours.
  • Student Experience/Campus Culture: Teachers must have a minimum of 30 documented hours with a maximum of 12 hour in any one area. Items for mastery include district or campus committee involvement, positive feedback on a student/parent survey, new initiatives for grade level or academic department, receipt of an outside grant to benefit class or school, and attendance at school or extracurricular activities.
  • Student Achievement/Enrichment: Teacher must show student progress, growth, and success in the classroom. Examples of data for this category include results from academic assessments, STAAR state tests, Advanced Placement exams, SAT and ACT college entrance exams, success in fine arts or academic competitions, and other classroom activities such as history fair, science fair, musicals, and other programs.
Teachers must be in their second year in GISD, maintain a minimum number of absences, and be rated proficient or above in all areas of the Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS) for teacher evaluations.
 
Superintendent Dr. James Largent stated that the plan was developed by a committee of principals and other administrators and vetted by a committee of teachers representing each campus. Largent also presented the initiative at the district’s end-of-year Summer Launch, an annual staff gathering on the final workday of the school year.
 
A team of administrators will review each portfolio to determine who successfully met the requirements, documented the hours, and provides supporting data to show classroom progress. Any GTEI compensation will become part of the teacher’s salary and will carry forward. The incentive pay will also calculate for the employee’s retirement benefits through the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
 
“We’re proud to put forward a carefully crafted and innovative plan developed by our thoughtful superintendent and his team,” stated school board president Mark Jackson. “Dr. Largent has brought us a one-of-a-kind incentive plan that will be a model for many in the state. Our teachers who truly shine will be rewarded in a way that ultimately reflects in the excellent education our kids receive in the GISD classroom making the kids the true winners in this plan.”
 
The GTEI program overview is posted on the district website at www.granburyisd.org/gtei.
 
Largent also outlined other compensation proposals:
 
  • Teacher pay will transition from a traditional step program to a placement schedule. The current system is based strictly on experience with step increases measuring $100-$800 that have “no rhyme or reason” for the amounts, according to Largent. The placement schedule will only be used to determine the beginning pay for teachers coming into GISD. Following that, each employee’s salary will include general base increases and any GTEI incentive pay.
  • Small stipends for extra duty will be paid in a lump sum at the end of the school year after the employee has fulfilled the expectations for the compensation.
  • Coaching stipends will transition from a system utilizing base amounts plus pay for extra days worked beyond the normal teacher contract. The new program will have a flat stipend that will be evaluated annually. The extra pay for current coaches will be converted, but no employee will have a decrease.
  • Retiring employees could be reimbursed for unused local leave if they have five consecutive years of service in GISD and notify the district of their retirement by February 1.   The reimbursement amount would equal the employee’s daily rate of pay not exceeding $100 for each day with a maximum amount of $3,000. Employees would have to meet attendance requirements during their final year of work.
For the 2015-16 year, trustees approved a $1,500 salary increase for all teachers and a 3% midpoint increase for all other employees. The raise is the largest that GISD teachers have received in several years and is above what would have been given under a normal step increase, according to Largent.
 
“The board is pleased to approve a raise for our hard-working teachers and staff,” Jackson commented. “To be able to recognize their efforts while still remaining fiscally responsible, staying within a conservative budget and not dipping into reserves is remarkable. It's a true testament to sound management in an ever-growing and successful district.”
 
The salary action followed a budget update from assistant superintendent Dobie Williams, who presented an overview of the current budget and a preliminary look at next year’s budget to be considered during a summer workshop. Williams indicated that, even with the salary increases, the district still will have a budget surplus at the end of next fiscal year.
 
Trustees will next meet for a special meeting on Monday, July 20 for the annual budget workshop and regular monthly meeting. Board meetings are held in the GISD Board Room located next to the Administration Building at 600 W. Pearl Street.
 

 
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