Compensation Update for Employees

August 22, 2012

Dear DCSD Employees:

I hope you are having a good week. I have an important update I’d like to share.  Last night, the Board of Education voted to approve an additional $2.8 million in compensation dollars for all employees.

These dollars are in addition to the 1% raise ($2.8 M) and the 1% ($2.8 M) retention stipend that the Board approved in July. If you include the $2.2 M PERA increase that the district paid for all employees, we have reallocated $10.6 M to employee compensation in FY 2013. This means that in September, when you receive your retention stipend (if you are eligible), it will include both the 1% across the board amount (one percent of your salary) and a flat amount from the second 1% or $2.8 M.

Not long after we proposed a 1% retention stipend for all employees last spring, I received a note from a high school chemistry teacher stating:

Rather that the 1+1% income increase, take the money available for this and give a flat amount to each teacher.  The average salary will get 2%, the higher salaries will get <2%, while the ones who need it the most will get .2%.  It would be like the KLA and years of service increases of the past.

We have many great newer teachers who have never had a pay increase and I am concerned they will leave to better paying jobs if we don’t give them more.

This is exactly what we plan to do with the additional $2.8 M approved by the Board last night. The amount employees receive will vary, based on their individual FTE and employee group. The flat amount for full-time teachers looks to be approximately $500. This amount will be included with the 1% retention stipend in September paychecks. Here’s an example of how this may look:

Teacher: $30,000 salary / certified employee group / 1.0 FTE:
$300 (1% stipend) + $500 (flat amount) = $800

As you probably know, we have been closing the books since July 1, 2012, and I only learned this week that we had out-performed our projections for expenditures on utilities (good job Lee and the energy team), substitutes (great job teachers), and property tax delinquencies were lower than expected.  As a result, we did not fully spend these budget lines. This creates additional one-time money or fund balance.  Since Chief Financial Officer Bonnie Betz is certain we do have this extra capacity, we wanted to take a recommendation to the Board right away so that we could include the additional dollars in the September retention stipend check, and as I mentioned, Board members fully supported this recommendation last night.

In addition, we believe that as we come to our final audit, we will have enough one-time money to also provide all schools with additional dollars per student in the current year. We are hopeful that we can add more money to school budgets during the October “true-up.” We will provide that information as quickly as we feel confident in the data.

Finally, attached is a news release announcing the allocation of unspent dollars. Please also note that the board allocated 50% ($150,000) from their department carry over for school supplies; every teacher will receive $50.00 to put toward the cost of supplies. This is not as much as we would like, but it is a start.

Thanks for everything you are doing for our students. This is already a great year. Please let us know if you have questions or concerns. One last thing…over the coming weeks we will carry out a significant communication plan about pay for performance.  We will highlight one component of the pay for performance framework each week and provide you with more opportunities to understand each component. I understand there are many questions about the system, and we want to get those answered. I also know the ambiguity of certain parts is challenging for some, but keep in mind that the reason it is ambiguous is because we are going to build it out together. If we had all of the answers, the plan would have been created quickly rather than collaboratively. As I have said before, we are committed to a fully differentiated system that is quality – measures the most important things the best way and we are going to build it together.

Have a great day.