BETF Bills vs. Full Funding Bills: FAQ

February 10, 2009 at 5:49 pm Leave a comment

Senator Fred Jarrett answered some FAQs regarding HB 1410/SB 5444 vs. HB 1817/SB 5607. Please contact your organizer if you have further questions.

Does this bill make the state one big school district?

No, what it does is make the accounting system implementation and results transparent for local voters while still allowing individual school districts to allocate resources to best accommodate local conditions.

Does the bill take away TRI pay?

No.  The BETF proposal does not eliminate TRI pay.

TRI pay is compensation in addition to the state’s salary schedule, paid from local levies, for “time, responsibility and incentive.”

In the BETF proposal, TRI pay is “bought back” by the state and becomes a part of the state salary apportionment.  We eliminate “R” and “I”, leaving only “T.” When we looked at the data around TRI pay, what we learned was that it correlated very closely to cost of living or housing costs.  That suggested to us that the local bargaining process had correctly forced local districts to adjust the flat state apportionment for salaries to a more reasonable level for the districts based on local economic conditions.  So, in fact, local levies are inappropriately funding basic education.

Are you taking away any part of teachers’ pay?

We don’t propose to take pay.  We intend for the state to pay the TRI pay currently funded by local levies and increase compensation to competitive levels in the labor markets the teacher teaches in.

Will this bill require accomplished teachers with advanced degrees to go through National Board Certification in order to attain the highest salary?

Experienced teachers with investments in education and degrees will continue to be paid under the current system unless they choose to migrate to the new system.  The proposal suggested a ten year period for dual compensation, but that’s an arbitrary number.  We do not expect that there will be a disadvantage for teachers in old system, though the additional compensation for the National Board certification level may provide motivation to make the change.

I often have to finish prep work for class at home late at night because I don’t have enough time during the work day and I buy classroom materials with my own money. Will this bill address that problem?

The state should not expect educators to subsidize taxpayers, either through under compensated work or purchasing supplies because the state won’t.  In addition to increasing compensation the proposal changes the way materials and supplies are funded, replacing NERCs (one of the many arcane concepts in our current financing system, Non-Employee Related Costs) with specific allocations for major types of materials and supplies (e.g., classroom materials, energy, maintenance, etc.)  Proposed funding is significantly higher than current, clearly inadequate NERC apportionments.

What is the proposed evaluation system?

The movement from student to resident and from resident to professional would be based on a rich peer evaluation.  Individual teacher compensation increases significantly when teachers receive certification through peer evaluations. Peer evaluations would involve multiple measures of performance, including in-class visits and reviews of lesson plans, student work, and possibly video of actual teaching. The Professional Educator Standards Board would oversee this system.
The PESB and the colleges of education have expressed concerns about some of the elements of 5444 and we are working with them to correct deficiencies and improve the career ladder.  Our intent is to build on the work they are doing, not drive off in a different direction.


Entry filed under: News Updates.

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