School board OK’s performance pay plan

By Jim Jarrett

The Frenship Board of Trustees unanimously approved two grants which could total $2.3 million over the next four years to fund a teacher performance program next fall at Terra Vista Middle School during Monday’s regular session.

The U.S. Department of Education through the National Institute of Excellence in Teaching recently selected Terra Vista Middle School for the Teacher Advancement Program.

Terra Vista Middle School’s teachers will receive their regular salaries, but be eligible for bonuses under the plan. Teachers could earn up to $5,400 in bonuses in the performance program. It is based 50 percent on student achievement in the classroom and the school and another 50 percent on teacher assessment.

The model creates a team atmosphere where everyone at the school is invested in a student’s success. Administrators, professionals and paraprofessionals also could earn bonuses if teachers reach their goals.

A federal grant called TIF and a state grant called DATE will pay at least 94.percent of the $2.44 million program the next four years. Frenship’s school district would be responsible for $138,600 the next four years.

“We’ve never had performance-based teacher compensation in the district. This is the first one,” said John Thomas, Frenship ISD superintendent as he showed the board a Power Point presentation.

School board member Brad Draper asked Thomas if it would be a four-year commitment even if the funding dipped. Thomas told him no. The district could opt out of the program if funding fell.

Frenship is only one of seven school districts in Texas selected to the program and the only West Texas school district to participate. Richardson, Lancaster, Manor, Hays Judson and Lytle school districts also are participating.

Thomas said the funding could increase if a school drops the program.

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