ZCS receives grant for teacher pay

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Zionsville Community Schools received a one-time grant from the Indiana Department of Education for $358,285 to implement a program to tie pay for teachers to performance, as is required by a law passed in the 2011 legislative session.

Zionsville was one of 28 schools to receive the award. Seventy school districts applied for this first-ever distribution of funds from a statewide pool of $6 million set aside to assist schools. The awards are for one year only.

The funds will be available to Zionsville Community Schools after a new teacher contract is negotiated which includes the specific details of performance pay for the district’s teachers. The current teacher contract will expire at the end of the 2012-13 school year. According to law, formal negotiations may begin on August 1, 2013,

“The grant will allow us to implement this new law while minimizing the effect to our already struggling General Fund,” said Superintendent Scott Robison. “Given our projected $3.1 million deficit in this fund for 2013, we are pleased that this grant will allow us to make performance pay a reality in Zionsville without making our financial situation any worse.”

These funds can only be used to implement the performance pay program and cannot be used for hiring teachers, paying for current teachers, or for covering any other expenses. The money can only be used to reward “effective” or “highly effective” teaching performance in compliance with the state’s new teacher evaluation law.

ZCS Superintendent Dr. Scott Robison thanked the administrative leaders who wrote the Performance Pay Grant application. “Jenny Froehle and Christine Squier took this on while also running school programs in their respective schools. They benefited from the collaboration with Zionsville teachers and obviously convinced the state reviewers of our ability to implement a quality performance evaluation program.”

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