GOLDEN – One week after rejecting an independent fact-finding report that recommended an examination of the current teacher evaluation system. Board President Ken Witt presents his plan to create a new pay system based on that evaluation system.
"I personally am focused making certain we have a compensation system that recognizes and rewards our great teachers," Witt said. "I want to makes sure that every effective teacher in Jeffco receives a compensation increase."
The Jefferson County School District is still working on how it's going to pay teachers for the 2014-15 school year. More than $18 million has been set aside for compensation increases, but Witt wants to make sure these increases go to the right teachers.
"It is critical that pay reflects the goals of the organization. Performance matters," Witt said. "I want to make sure ensure that our compensation reflects the goals of this organization - which is an effective teacher in every classroom."
Witt wants a system where every teacher gets paid at least $38,000. Teachers who already make more will keep their current base pay, Witt says. But, he wants to reward teachers that received "highly effective" ratings with the biggest bonuses. Any teacher rated as "effective" will receive half that bonus. Teachers rated lower than that will not receive a raise.
"This is increased compensation. That's what this discussion is about. It's not about moving anyone back," Witt said. "Our experienced teachers, their salary is what it is. We're talking recognizing effective and highly effective teachers and increasing compensation for those teachers."
But, Jefferson County Education Association President John Ford expresses concerns over this plan, which surfaced for the first time at the August 28 school board meeting after the board majority of Witt, Julie Williams, and John Newkirk rejected the findings of an independent fact-finding report that recommended that the union and district work on a new evaluation system.
"More eyes need to be on this whole process," Ford said.
He wants a teachers to be included in evaluating their peers. Ford believes placing it all on principals is too much, especially when it could be tied to a pay increase.
Ford issued this statement, "Having an evaluation system that does not accurately rate teachers does not help reach our goal of every student being taught by a quality teacher."
Ford also expressed concern on the origin of this plan and he hopes JCEA can continue to work collaboratively with the school district.
The school board has vote on a compensation plan by October 10. If his new payment structure is approved, it would be retroactive to the beginning of the school year.
"I absolutely want this to be retroactive. I don't want teachers to be penalized for the time the process takes," Witt said.
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