School Board Approves Differentiated Pay Plan Proposal
Bonus plan approved, who knows?
By: Pat Hunter
At the Special Called June 26th meeting, the School Board approved a pay plan proposal. By state law each school system is supposed to have one approved by the start of school however it could be delayed until October 1st, School Director Edward Headlee started. Headlee was referring to the Differentiated Pay Plan. If the plan was not approved by October 1st, the State would withhold state funding starting with the October payment. It did not have to be funded this year because of the economy, Headlee added. But the law says that there needs to be money set aside in each school systems budget to fund the plan but this year there was an exception to that, you have to have a plan approved by the School Board but no funding for this year. In future years the School Board would be expected to set aside funding for this purpose. Headlee's recommendation was to comply with the law and approve a plan but his recommendation was not to use the plan. It doesn't mandate that you use it, he commented. Not every school system has the same needs because some school systems have more difficulty finding teachers than others.
Leroy Tate referenced correspondence from Headlee and asked him if money had already been set aside. Nancy Paule read from the memo, " The funding for these signing bonuses is budgeted, continual, and approved in advance by the Loudon County Board of Education." School Director replied, no because this year does not require funding. Freddie Walker wanted to know where in the law did it say that funding wasn't required this year. Headlee's responded that it was in a memo from the state department but because of funding issues from the state it was not mandatory this year. This would affect new employees in the field in mathematics, physics, foreign languages, guidance, special ed., and ELL. Other fields could be added but would require Board action. With that said the motion was made by Leroy Tate and seconded by Larry Bass to accept the plan. School Director Headlee also recommended that a certain amount of money for the plan be set aside from fund balance with the understanding that it wasn't going to be used so it would go back in.
Freddie Walker said that he could not vote to approve this plan because the Board was approving policy that it didn't plan to use. Tate said that it was sort of setting a Board Policy to meet a mandated law from losing state money. The Differentiated Pay Plan was approved by all present with one no vote from Walker. Scotty Newman and Steve Harrelson were absent and did not attend the Special Called meeting.
The Differentiated Pay Plan is listed below.
Loudon County Board of Education
Differentiated Pay Plan Proposal
2008 - 2009
TO: Robert Greene, Assistant Commissioner
FROM: Edward Headlee, Director of Schools
RE: Differentiated Pay Plan Proposal for Loudon County Schools
DATE: June 27, 2008 (Board approved on June 26, 2008)
The following information provides the Tennessee Department of Education with Loudon County School Systemís proposal for its differentiated pay plan for the 2008-09 year.
The goal of the Loudon County School Systemís differentiated pay plan is to recruit highly qualified teachers in hard to staff positions within the system by providing a $3,000 signing bonus.
Statement of Need:
Loudon County School System is committed to improving student achievement and has invested significant funding and time in staff development and resources to build teacher instructional capacity. The areas that have proven to be most difficult to recruit new teachers for have been identified as mathematics, physics, foreign languages, guidance, special education and English Language Learners (ELL).
The funding for these signing bonuses is budgeted, continual, and approved in advance by the Loudon County Board of Education. As other endorsement areas are identified, they will be added to the approved hard to staff listing. The funding for differential pay does not come at the expense of a competitive base salary for all teachers. The signing bonus will be paid upon presentation by the teacher of licensure and highly qualified status and the signing of a one-year contract.
Approved by the Loudon County Board of Education on June 26, 2008 as attested by our signatures shown below:
Bobby Johnson, Jr. A. Edward Headlee
Chairman of the Board Director of Schools