Recent legislation has totally changed the landscape of teacher compensation. Compensation is still determined at the local level but instead of one raise percentage for all teachers, a pool of dollars is created and then distributed differentially to teachers based on performance. This new pay structure comes in to effect at the end of this school year. Initially I have been focusing on equitable administration of the evaluation process during the initial review period that is currently underway. Later this year informal negotiations of the compensation portion of the contract will begin. The existing contract was long term in nature and negotiated to provide certainty on both sides of the compensation portion of our budget and was reasonable under the economic conditions at the time. During the upcoming negotiations, the current model will benchmarked against similar school districts to create an equitable pool for the next two year contract period.
2. Are you in favor of using the maximum levy for the three years of the referendum? If not, how would you offset any projected shortfall?
The root cause of the referendum is the change in the state funding formula that has made Zionsville the lowest tuition funded school in the state of Indiana. If we were funded at the same level as five years ago, we would receive over $6 million more than we are scheduled to receive this next calendar year. The board selected the $4.7 million amount to stop the elimination of even more teachers and programs. However, our class sizes remain well above historic levels. To bridge the gap until our initial distribution of referendum dollars we will need to rely on our “Rainy Day” fund. That fund is projected to decline to $600,000 by the end of 2013. Absent a dramatic shift in the state funding formula, I would anticipate appropriating all of the available referendum dollars to continue to meet our children’s educational needs and potentially restore some emergency reserves.