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Bryan ISD Board Approves ‘BEST’ Teacher Compensation Plan

Classroom teacher pay in Bryan ISD is getting an ample dose of innovation, thanks to the new Bryan’s Excellence for Students and Teachers (BEST) compensation plan, unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees. The innovative new pay structure consists of an upgraded teacher base pay (for all teachers) and available incentives (for classroom teachers) tied to student academic performance, hard-to-fill teaching assignments and other criteria aimed at boosting student success and improving teacher retention. Classroom teacher pay could increase by nearly $2,000, in addition to board-approved increases in base pay, if teachers meet preset performance measures and program criteria.

The district’s move toward an innovative pay system for classroom teachers was proposed by Superintendent Tommy Wallis and spearheaded by Deputy Superintendent Tim Rocka.

“The compensation steps we had in place in the past allowed for stipends and supplements, which we will continue, but it did not adequately reward classroom teachers in a way that truly celebrates the accomplishments in the classroom,” Rocka said. “The BEST program includes supplements and stipends for taking on critical assignments, along with performance-based bonuses for campus-level achievements.”

Work on the new pay plan began in April 2014, and the planning process included a committee of teachers across the spectrum of K-12 classrooms, school/district administrators and board members. Through this work, the committee identified the key areas that could be incentivized with additional pay while having the most positive impact on student success. Battelle for Kids, a not-for-profit organization that specializes in strategic compensation programs, partnered with Bryan ISD in the design process.

The committee of 30 stakeholders identified a three-part incentive pay system, including:

1) enhanced base pay.

2) supplemental pay for selected subjects/hard-to-staff positions.

3) performance-based incentives to increase academic performance.

The program is specifically designed for classroom teachers who are evaluated under the state’s new Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS).

The plan includes:

Module 1 Base Pay*: For all current teachers, this includes yearly base pay increases depending on the availability of funds. The salary for new teachers would be dependent on a hiring-in schedule.

Module 2 Critical Assignment Supplements*: Stipends and/or critical assignment supplements will continue to be offered to areas like bilingual and math. Classroom teachers who teach State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) subjects and/or classes with an end of course (EOC) exam will now also be included. Critical assignment supplements are paid in two increments, December and May.

Module 3 Performance-based Rewards*:

Campus eligibility—Campuses are eligible if they:

  • Exceed state standards for accountability.
  • Increase student attendance over a three-year average by .5 percent, or maintain a running three-year average of 98 percent attendance.

Classroom teacher pay for Module 3 will be enhanced based on meeting these requirements and achieving one or more distinctions from the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

Teacher eligibility—Classroom teachers are eligible if they:

  • Serve in their primary role at an eligible campus (see above).
  • Have a satisfactory evaluation and a valid teaching certificate.
  • Do not miss more than four full days of work utilizing local leave, old state leave, state personal leave and/or doc days. Leave such as military, temporary disability, Family Medical Leave Act, jury duty and school duty will not count against the four-day limit.
  • Are employed by Bryan ISD by Sept. 1 and complete their contractual year.

Incentive payments are made during the following school year, after the district receives data from the TEA. Teachers must still be employed in Bryan ISD to receive the incentive payment. Retirees are eligible to receive any bonus pay they may have earned the prior year. Module 3 incentives for classroom teachers who serve multiple campuses will be determined based on the percentage of time serve each campus.

* Additional guidelines apply. Contact Human Resources for more information.

Click here to learn more about the BEST plan.