NEW LONDON — A plan to link teacher pay with student performance was overwhelmingly approved by the the New London-Spicer teachers’ union earlier this month and was ratified Monday by the NLS School Board.
The district is now “in line for funding” with the state Department of Education, said Superintendent Paul Carlson.
“But it’s becoming a bit more complicated than we’d hoped for,” said Carlson, who praised NLS teachers for completing the detailed compensation plan under a tight timeline.
There were 103 teachers who voted to implement the new compensation structure and two teachers that voted against it. There were seven teachers that did not vote, which Carlson said also counts as a “no” vote.
In 2006, NLS teachers defeated a similar proposal.
Schools that implement the “Quality Compensation” program, often referred to as Q Comp, receive $169 in additional state money for each student. A local levy of up to $91 per student can also be used for the program, which uses instructional strategies to enhance teachers’ classroom skills and improve student performance.
NLS met the February application deadline to be eligible for funding in the 2016-17 school year and expects to receive the final letter of approval from the state by next week.
But Carlson said if the state’s final approval is delayed, it’s possible NLS may have to delay implementation of Q Comp until the 2017-18 school year.
Even though the district has a detailed Q Comp plan that’s ready to be implemented, the board needs to hire a coordinator from within the NLS teaching ranks and it will take time to complete that step and then hire a replacement for that teacher’s class.
Carlson said if the state action isn’t timely, there may not be enough time for the district to meet the timeframe for implementation this fall.
In other action:
- The board called for bids on the district’s $20.6 million building project, which includes construction of a performing arts auditorium and gym at the high school and a new cafeteria and classrooms at the elementary school. A pre-construction meeting will potential bidders will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday in the district office.
- The 2016-17 budget was approved with general fund revenues of $14.9 million and expenditures of $14.7 million.
- The board agreed to hire a part-time director of communications who will be shared with the New London-Spicer Education Foundation. The person will be charged with improving parent engagement and communication through various means, including improving the district’s website. Some of the roles with the foundation is to host events, engage alumni and increase revenues — including writing grants that could make the position self-supporting.