June 12, 2018 10:29:21 AM
Teachers at Columbus Municipal School District will see incentive bonuses based on state accountability ratings starting December 2019.
The CMSD Board of Trustees on Monday unanimously approved the Teacher Incentive Pay Plan to reward faculty and staff at CMSD for students' performance on state testing. The policy will begin with the 2018-19 school year, with monetary bonuses awarded in December 2019. Teachers, assistant teachers and support staff will all receive bonuses under the new policy if they work at a campus that shows improvement.
CMSD is funding the program itself and will not replace any state incentives or local supplements provided to district faculty.
Mississippi rates public school districts, as well as individual campuses, on a letter-grade scale -- ranging from to A to F -- based on a number of factors, mainly student performance on end-of-year benchmark exams. CMSD is currently rated a D. Three district campuses -- Columbus Middle School, Franklin Academy and Joe Cook Elementary -- are rated as Fs. Columbus High School is the district's highest-rated campus at a B.
The TIPP plan will take place over four school years, with the board having the option to extend it.
In 2019, if a school increases from a F to a D, certified staff would receive $500, teacher assistants would receive $250 and support staff would receive $50. Incentive amounts increase gradually for each letter grade, up to $2,000 for certified faculty at A-rated campuses.
Starting in the program's second year, the same scale for incentives would be awarded. The district also would award staff for a school maintaining a grade of C or higher. If a school maintains a C, certified staff would receive $1,000, assistant teachers would receive $500 and support staff would get $100. Maintaining a B would earn certified staff $1,500, teacher assistants $750 and support staff $250 and maintaining an A would bring those totals to $2,000, $1,000 and $500, respectively.
In the program's fourth year, however, no bonuses would be offered at campuses maintaining a C or lower.
Now the incentive has been approved by the board, school board president Jason Spears is excited about the potential outcomes this has for the district.
"It will put everyone on the same wavelength of going in the same direction of raising student achievement, as well as raising the grade level for the school district," Spears said. "It will continue to help retain good quality personnel in the district as well as bring on an added dynamic to recruit other staff or teachers or other personnel into the district to help us further our ambitions to make the school district the best we can be."
Cherie Labat, CMSD newly-hired superintendent, attended Monday's meeting, after her June 9 start date. Labat is replacing Philip Hickman who was terminated in February. After a nearly six-month search, CMSD board of trustees announced Labat as the new superintendent June 1.
"She's doing a great job," Spears said. "I've had teachers approach me about different little meetings that have occurred and they are very excited about her coming to the district."
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