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What's the deal for Lacoochee Elementary School teachers?



Lacoochee Elementary's new faculty didn't necessarily know exactly what it would be getting when signing up to work the Pasco district's school turnaround plan.

District officials had represented that anyone working at the school would get supplements (not raises) up to $15,000 over three years. Applicants got a rundown during their interviews. But until late June — after most everyone was hired — nothing had been agreed upon contractually.

During negotiations, the United School Employees of Pasco reached a deal with the district over what the teachers are in for. They will get a $500 "sign-on" bonus on Aug. 30, followed by $2,000 spread into equal installments over their paychecks. Supplements of $2,500 in the second year and $10,000 in the third year would be paid out in the same way. Itinerant teachers also will get a pro-rated supplement based on the number of hours or days per week they spend at Lacoochee.

Everyone hired, including returning teachers, get the money.

How to lose that supplement? Get a poor evaluation. Any teacher who receives a performance rating of "unsatisfactory" or "needs improvement" faces removal from Lacoochee the following year. Is that a likely scenario? Let's just say that the staff that was told to reapply, after facing a third straight D school grade, had 2.9 percent receiving "highly effective" evaluations while the remaining 97.1 percent were considered "effective."

The teachers who get high marks will be eligible for performance pay increases.

A three-day training session with pay also is on tap for the new staff at the beginning of August.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 9:41am]


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