By Nicole Jones
Pearland ISD teachers will earn incentive pay for student performance on state mandated testing and advanced placement exams, the school board decided earlier this month.
Moving forward, however, the district will likely address the question of which teachers should be eligible for these types of incentives.
Trustees on Nov. 12 approved $607,000 in incentive pay for meeting goals in student performance on the STAAR, CTE and AP exams.
“I know the board has continually expressed over the last two months you wish you could do more for the employees but your hands were tied because of contractual obligations,” Superintendent John Kelly told trustees at that meeting. “This sits outside of the contract and the board has freedom to do or not do what it would like in this area.”
The board in June set a cap in the incentives but on Nov. 11 approved the full merit pay.
The incentives go to individual teachers of record, though trustees expressed all teachers on a campus share the rewards.
“If we’re incentivizing campus-wide, it’s about the campus improving not the individual teachers,” Trustee Crystal Carbone said.
Kelly said while that can’t be done immediately since the system has already been approved in the current year, “We can move toward that in the future. It has to go through about two years of work before you get to that point.
The current incentive system has been in place for several years.
Kelly added that he had developed that type of incentive system at districts before he came to Pearland.
“If their campus achieved a certain level, every professional got so much and every paraprofessional got so much,” he said. “If the board wants to move toward that, that can be done. It’s not so difficult.”
However, the state’s direction is that it will provide the money for the rewards for its recommended system, which is to the teachers of record, he said.