Principals will receive cash for raising school scores

St. Charles Parish Public Schools will award principals and assistant principals with incentive pay for raising their school’s ratings as well as receiving high professional achievement marks.

Under the plan, principals will be offered a one-time payment of $1,000 if they raise their school’s rating by 10 points or higher in any given year or if they are professionally rated as “highly effective.” They would receive a one-time payment of $500 for raising their school’s rating by five points or more or if they received a professional rating of “proficient.” The awards for assistant principals meeting the same goals would be half that of principals.

The one-time payments are estimated to cost the school system $24,000 per year.

The measure is similar to incentive awards the St. Charles Parish School Board already passed for teachers.

Jim Melohn, chief financial and administrative officer for the district, said at most only a few principals would be able to take full advantage of the incentives each year.

“You are looking at 10 percent of principals, you are talking about one or two that are reaching ‘highly effective’,” he said.

Superintendent Dr. Rodney Lafon said previous incentives the board passed for teachers were well received.

“The way it worked out it is a very fair compensation package for our teachers and our teachers really like it a lot,” he said. “That’s why we came back and brought you this other piece.”

Lafon also said he intends to present a similar incentive package at the May School Board meeting that would provide one-time awards to other school employee’s such cafeteria workers and custodians.

Some Board Members said they would also like to include central office staff, including administrators, in future incentive plans as well.

“I don’t want to give some people a raise if we are not giving everyone a raise,” Ellis Alexander, District 1 board member, said.

Lafon said his priority was making sure the employees who deal with students on a daily basis were taken care of first.

“Right now we are trying to take care of people on the front lines and taking care of all those people that are out there including cafeteria and your staff and your custodians and etcetera,” Lafon said.

Lafon conceded that if the board wanted him to come up with a package for central office staff in the future he would.

“We’ve got to get this in place at first and see how it works a little bit and then come back and do the rest,” he said. “I am certainly never opposed to giving people that work with me in the office an opportunity to get a pay raise.”

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