Pasco school district won't offer more incentive pay to lure teachers to Lacoochee Elementary
Teachers at Pasco County's Lacoochee Elementary won't be getting a pay boost simply for choosing to work at the remote, rural school anymore.
Superintendent Kurt Browning, who put the incentive pay plan into effect three years ago, said it didn't have its desired effect. His administration restaffed the school after Lacoochee received three consecutive D grades from the state, with a goal of pushing students to higher levels.
Teachers got a $2,500 bonus for each of the first two years, and a $10,000 for their third year, to help the initiative. Lacoochee saw a one-year bump up in its grade, but then it fell back down.
"I did not see any return on the investment," Browning told the Gradebook. "It didn't work."
His leadership team is now discussing other financial possibilities to attract strong teachers to the northeast Pasco campus, which sits just far away enough from where most teachers live to make it a tough sell. One idea that's gaining some attention involves offering quarterly added pay for teachers who meet or exceed set academic expectations.
"We know that teachers are putting in the effort," Browning said. "We've got to see results."
Whatever idea that's adopted ultimately could extend beyond Lacoochee Elementary. Pasco has at least three other schools facing turnaround plans because of persistently low performance on state tests. Any deal would have to be worked out through collective bargaining.