KINGSPORT, Tenn. - In Kingsport City Schools teachers are paid based on how long they've been there and how much schooling they have, but that will soon change.
Starting July 1, 2014, pay will be determined on a teacher's classroom performance, an observation typically by the school's principal, and by the overall achievement of their students. "It looks at [how much] a child grew in a year that you had him or her. It isn't so much based on just their level, if they are proficient or not, it's, as a teacher, did [they] improve their academic standing a year in the year," says Andy True, Chief Information Officer of Kingsport City Schools.
To come up with the changes, Kingsport Schools put together a committee of teachers, including kindergarten teacher Lindsey Ray. She says the changes are a good thing, and encourages teachers to perform at a higher level. "While the top might top out near the same or a little higher, you could make more money faster, so of course that's going to equal more in the long run. it really is there for teachers all across the spectrum," adds Ray.
No teacher will make less money on the new scale, but will likely see a small increase, less than $250,which will add up for the district. "That will cost the district a little over $80,000 in order to move everyone from one scale to another. Obviously, we're not going to pay them any less," adds True.
True adds there are still ways the school will offer incentives for those with additional degrees; for now, the committee thinks this will be a good starting place to meet state requirements while meeting the needs of teachers.
Both the Board of Education in Kingsport and the state have approved the changes.