Pay plan to be analyzed

School district looks to pay teachers based on performance

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Steamboat Springs School District officials hope an outside analysis will provide the district a clearer picture of how the Knowledge and Skills-Based Pay plan will impact its budget.

Under the pay schedule proposed for the still-developing system, which will evaluate teachers and support staff based on their job performance and pay them accordingly, district employees will have the opportunity for their salaries to increase faster than the traditional, experienced-based pay model allows.

An initial district analysis of the financial impact of KSBP assured officials the pay and evaluation system could be implemented within budget parameters, Superintendent Donna Howell said Tuesday. That analysis assumed only a small number of teachers would be classified as advanced, which is KSBP's highest salary level.

The district, however, needs an outside analysis of the pay system to more accurately gauge its potential effect on the district budget for years to come, Howell said.

"I think we have to do it," Howell said. "We'd be irresponsible to adopt any plan where we didn't have clear assumptions for its financial impact."

Denver Public Schools had a 50-year analysis of its performance-pay system conducted for the same reasons, Howell said. While she doubted the district needed a study to look five decades into the future, Howell said an analysis would be done.

"We need to make sure we pull someone in from the outside to do an analysis," she said. "We cannot put the district in financial liability."

District grant-writer Lynne Myers is researching private education foundations to determine whether a grant is available for the analysis. With numerous private foundations focusing on education reform, Howell is hopeful a grant provider can be found.

"The whole issue of alternative compensation is prevalent across the entire country," Howell said. "I'm hoping (Myers) will find something to help us."

A team of district teachers and administrators continues to develop the KSBP system. District employees and the School Board approved the KSBP pay scale in 2001. KSBP committee members hope a completed system can be put to a vote by the end of the 2003-04 school year.

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