School Board weighs new salary modelThe Superior School Board is proceeding cautiously with an issue that could herald a new direction for the school district.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
The Superior School Board is proceeding cautiously with an issue that could herald a new direction for the school district.
Board members voted April 1 to table a measure to create a new job classification for instructional coaches. The classification listed a starting salary for the position but did not include a salary schedule with yearly step increases.
“These kinds of discussions are going on across the state,” said Jack Amadio, business director for the Superior school district.
The question facing school districts is whether to continue with a traditional wage model — with salary schedules and automatic pay increases — or to adopt a new model that does away with automatic
School boards were granted the power to make such changes under Act 10, but districts statewide are questioning how far to go.
“People are talking about moving away from steps and lanes and creating a schedule that has a base salary,” Amadio said. “That seems to be the most popular model, but no one’s quite sure how to address that or implement that.”
The Nekoosa school district has been working on a new compensation model since August. Its version establishes a minimum and maximum salary for teachers and includes merit pay. The plan requires teachers to complete a professional development plan annually to earn a $500 yearly increase in salary.
They can also earn salary increases for meeting teacher effectiveness standards, but teachers failing to meet standards may move back on the pay scale.
The Superior School Board has not discussed merit pay, but district administrator Janna Stevens said the board will need to meet and map out a plan for employee compensation.
“You don’t want to go backwards in these things,” Amadio said. “You still want to attract the best teachers.”
Stevens said she hopes to have a new job classification for instructional coaches in place by the beginning of the 2013-14 school year. The district currently has four coaches but plans to hire four more to bring the total to eight.
Currently instructional coaches are paid on the same wage scale as teachers, with a stipend for extra hours worked. A coach at the top of the pay scale would earn about $65,000 plus a $5,000 stipend. Under the new classification, the base salary for the position would be $68,302. The coaches would work the same calendar year as teachers with an additional four weeks tacked on.
Stevens said years of experience would be considered but no salary schedule was drawn up for the position.
“I’m not saying the Board can’t do a salary schedule; I just don’t want to push that forward,” Stevens said.
Board member John Hendricks asked how salaries would be calculated and by whom. Stevens said she would work with the human resources department to set salary levels. The wages for a data assessment coordinator, the most comparable position, would be used as a base, she said.
“That leaves it awfully open ended, doesn’t it?” Hendricks said.
Robert Morehouse also had misgivings. He wanted to know if any other positions had a salary model similar to the one proposed.
“It feels like this would create a precedent,” Morehouse said.
“Yes, it would,” said Stevens. Morehouse suggested tabling the measure until after the board had an
opportunity to talk about all the implications of creating a job classification that doesn’t include an automatic pay increase.
“I think there will be a lot of questions,” Morehouse said. “I don’t even know where to begin.”
The Board voted 6-0 to table the measure until its May meeting. Christina Kintop was not in attendance.