Janesville School Board OKs employee bonuses

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Frank Schultz
Wednesday, November 27, 2013

JANESVILLE—Janesville School District employees knew they had a bonus coming. Now they know how much and when.

The school board on Tuesday approved Superintendent Karen Schulte's plan for a “performance reward” with little discussion. The plan:

-- 844 full-time employees will receive $450 each, at a cost of $379,800.

-- 307 employees who work 24.25 to 34.75 hours a week will receive $300 each, at a cost of $92,100.

-- 51 employees who work between one and 24 hours a week will receive $150 each, at a cost of $7,650.

Payroll deductions for Social Security and pensions will reduce the payments.

The district's share of Social Security and pensions comes to $68,575. The total cost of the bonuses is $548,125.

The board had approved $600,000 for the bonuses but asked Schulte to present a plan for how the money would be distributed.

Steve Sperry, director of human resources, said he hoped to get the money into the second round of December paychecks.

The board's vote was nearly unanimous. Greg Ardrey abstained because his wife works for the district.

Schulte had originally wanted to reward all employees for the district's performance on state report cards, but some board members objected to administrators receiving the bonuses, because administrators already have the opportunity to qualify for incentive pay at the end of this school year.

Schulte has said the administrators' bonuses will come out of the money the board had already approved for incentive pay.

Some employees will not receive the bonuses: those who are new this year, those who left in 2012-13, retirees and those on “intensive supervision” or a remedial plan.

The rewards are in gratitude for the district's state report card score, which surpassed all other Rock County districts and also was the highest among the top 15 largest districts in the state, Schulte has said.

The report cards are based largely on test scores but also take into account achievement in the face of socio-economic hindrances.

Schulte has said she was surprised and pleased by the report card results. She also has said that the district has a long way to go in improving test scores for all students and in narrowing the achievement gap for minority and poor students.

“I believe it takes every employee working together to achieve these kinds of results,” Schulte said in a memo to the board. She underlined and boldfaced the words “every employee.”

The district's “evidence-based leadership” plan—formerly referred to as the Journey to Excellence and the Studer process—says that employees should be rewarded for producing results, Schulte wrote.


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