STMA faces teacher pay decision

Must decide on Q Comp in May

The St. Michael-Albertville School Board and teacher union must reach a decision in May whether to implement the Q Comp performance incentive compensation program.

The board also heard a legislative update.



Supt. Jim Behle provided the school board with an update regarding the Q Comp program. The school board must take final action on the plan by May 6, since approval must be submitted to the Department of Education by May 15.

Q Comp is a program designed to improve teaching and learning by rewarding teachers with performance incentive compensation based on a teacher’s evaluation and meeting student achievement.

Each school district would voluntarily apply for the program, as it is not mandated by the state. The school board and Education Minnesota teacher’s union must reach agreement to implement the program.

“Some school staff teachers might not favor a performance-based pay system,” Behle later said. “The school board and teachers have to jointly agree to the plan that’s developed.”

Behle told the board there are two committees — teacher evaluation and Q Comp -— that are finishing review of the plan. Then it will be presented to the school board.

The Department of Education has 30 days to review the plan, and STMA has 30 days to amend it based on feedback from the department.

The plan would go into effect for school year 2014-15, allowing next year to be a planning year for implementation.



In other matters, Supt. Behle provided a legislative update.

He said the House and Senate released omnibus bills, and compared components. He said the House had a 2 percent increase each year for basic per pupil funding, whereas the Senate had none. Both bills had fully-funded kindergarten, which STMA supports.

“Then, in regard to equity, neither bill addressed that in a way that would impact our district,” Behle said.

For property tax equalization, Behle said the House included a provision based on district wealth. He said the Senate didn’t include property tax equalization, even though it had supported it.

“It’s quite disappointing,” he said. “I just don’t think they have a consensus among them.”

While the district’s lobbying group, Schools for Equity in Education, continues to lobby for equalization of property taxes, Behle concluded that “neither bill would help us in regard to disparity in per pupil revenue.”

In other action, the board:

APPROVED the Capital Project Plan, with $1.26 million for tax books, equipment and technology.