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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco schools to dabble in merit pay



With all the fighting over Senate Bill 6 in the spring, you might think that teachers loathe the notion of merit pay entirely.

In reality, it seems, they want to see how (if?) it can really work before rolling it out for everyone. In Pasco County, that's looking like a pilot program.

During contract negotiations this week, representatives for the United School Employees of Pasco and the School Board came closer to agreement on a performance pay plan for teachers in the district's eSchool.

The sides are still hashing out the details, but the plan is likely to pay teachers a base salary of 90 to 95 percent of the contracted amount, with 5 to 10 percent of their salary coming if at least 80 percent of their students successfully complete their virtual courses. Teachers could earn up to 5 percent more if another percentage of their students pass the classes.

"We're a good little laboratory for trying it out," said eSchool principal Joanne Glenn, who expects to have 10 full-time and several part-time teachers on staff this year.

USEP chief negotiator Jim Ciadella said merit pay is "not an easy topic to tackle," and that his negotiating team had some heated debate about whether to move in this direction. "We decided this is a group that it may be worth piloting," Ciadella said.


[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 1:21pm]


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