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Wed, July 17

CVUSD Board offers incentive bonuses
District decides how to spend Prop. 301 funds

The Chino Valley Unified School District Governing Board meets the second Mondays of most months.
Photo by Ken Sain.

The Chino Valley Unified School District Governing Board meets the second Mondays of most months.

Saying it was recognizing the hard work and value of its districts teachers, the Chino Valley Unified School District Governing Board voted unanimously last week on a plan that allocates all Prop. 301 dollars to salary bonuses for teachers.

The way the Prop. 301 is now set up is that a chunk of the money, $4,200, is awarded annually to all 118 certified district teachers. An additional $2,800 is able to be paid to those teachers who meet certain additional performance standards that tie into what they do as part of their classroom instruction.

The Governing Board is required to submit a funding plan to the state each year. Prop. 301 funds reflect a portion of the state’s sales tax that voters agreed to return to education.

CVUSD Superintendent John Scholl explained the extra incentive money, a maximum of $2,800, is given to teachers who meet targeted goals that reflect in student achievement. But he and other school leaders assured that most of the district’s teachers will have no difficulty earning some or all of the extra pay because they do the required lesson plans, evaluations and assessments as a matter of their regular classroom operations.

To earn the maximum incentive does require a bit more paperwork and documentation, but Scholl said the plan is to reward teachers, and therefore benefit students, rather than punish them.

“The majority of our teachers will get this extra money,” Scholl said, noting he knows of no teacher who did not earn incentive pay. “They all recognize the worth of the work they do to get the money.”

Before the salary incentive discussion, high school special education teacher Robin Bennett asked the board if they would consider a proposal to increase the pay for the district’s special education teachers.

She argued that special education teachers are required to do significantly more paperwork on their students than do the general education teachers, and that they are required to work more hours. In some cases, these teachers have “excessive caseloads” and must maintain continuous dialogue with parents and other teachers.

She said she knows that many general education teachers also “go above and beyond” but special education teachers are making decisions about children that have legal ramifications. She said the high school is also in need of extra resources based on demand.

As Bennett’s request was made as a part of public comment, the board did not make any decisions but advised that it would be referred to administration and possible consideration at another time.

“I understand your work and how critical it is, and so I’m sensitive to your needs,” said board member Daniel Chacon.

In other business, Scholl announced teachers in Arizona no longer are required to take the structured

English immersion course to earn their certification.

Chino Valley’s district, though, is still requiring teachers to earn the certification, but will assist them with seeking outside sources to help cover the costs for the course. As another incentive, teachers who complete the course are eligible to use those credits to move them up on the salary schedule.

The district also noted that this year enrollment is not only stable, but its preschool has grown exponentially and special education needs in that age group have significantly dropped.

Territorial Early Education Center’s has 87 half-day pre-school students this year, up from 68 last year. And the number of special needs students has dropped from 30 to 12. Tuition of $160 a month is charged to those students who are not eligible for special education. The center also provides before and after school care for charged for an extra charge.

As of Oct. 3, Scholl said enrollment for the current year was at 2,260, just six students less than last year.

“I’m OK with flat. Better than declining,” he said.

Follow Nanci Hutson on Twitter @HutsonNanci. Reach her at 928-445-3333 ext. 2041 or 928-642-6809

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