Details of the Escambia County School District’s 2007-2008 Merit Pay Bonus payouts have been intricately worked out and a fairly clear picture of what will transpire in the next few weeks is taking shape. As I have stated on numerous occasions, I am a staunch supporter of Merit Pay for teachers. I am proud that Escambia County was one of only 9 (out of 67) counties that were able to develop, negotiate, and deliver a state funded merit award plan for the 2007-2008 school year. The superintendent and his staff worked with the union and the school board to make this happen. The result? In the midst of this current economic downturn we are in, a lot of great employees will soon be receiving bonus checks.
Here’s the way the plan is going to be implemented, as I currently understand it:
1. Later today or tomorrow, an email will go out from the district offices to the personnel who were eligible to qualify for a merit bonus payment for the 2007-2008 school year. The email will contain a link to a site that will allow each eligible employee to view whether or not they have been selected to receive a merit bonus. (Each employee will only be able to check their own personal status, not anyone else’s)
2. Target check stub mailing date will be between September 15th and October 1st, with bonus money distributed with regular pay at the end of the month via direct deposit.
3. Bonus amount will be roughly $2,050.00, after deduction for FICA. All bonus recipients will be receiving the same amount. (This amount equates to 5% of the average district teacher salary of just a little over $40,000.00)
Some interesting statistics are worthy of mention here:
The initial pool of potential qualified employees was roughly 3,200. Of this number, 500 personnel voluntarily “opted-out” of consideration. (I don’t understand the logic of someone voluntarily opting out of a merit bonus plan-- but hey, to each his own, right?) A large number of other employees were subsequently deemed to be not eligible for a variety of different reasons, leaving the final pool of eligible instructional personnel at roughly 1,850. Of this final number, the district will be awarding 908 teachers with bonuses---nearly 50% of those eligible! I think this statistic is powerful. I hope next year we can duplicate this percentage. Perhaps the 500 personnel who opted out last year could opt out again this year, leaving a smaller pool of eligible employees. We’ll have to wait and see how that works out.
At the district level, 114 personnel were initially eligible, 14 voluntarily “opted out”, and 21 others failed to subsequently meet the requirements. Of the initial 114 district personnel, only about 79 were qualified at the end of the process. The final number of district level personnel who will be receiving a merit award from this final pool of 79 is 36.
The district will be paying out a total of $2,094,929.00 in bonuses to the teachers and district level personnel who earned these bonuses, with $60,505.00 going to our area charter schools for distribution to their employees.
My congratulations go out to all those hard working employees who earned these bonuses.
I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.