This past school year, GCPS was awarded a competitive grant from the Virginia Department of Education to design and deliver a strategic compensation program to reward high performing teachers for achieving a wide array of goals and objectives. While the state’s grant funding will not be available for the 2014-15 school year, GCPS plans to sustain the grant’s framework.
As you’re likely already aware, Goochland County Public Schools piloted a strategic compensation model for teachers during the 2013-14 school year. This opportunity was made possible through the work of the division’s Grants Committee, who spent much of Spring 2013 pursuing the Virginia Department of Education’s strategic compensation competitive grants initiative that was announced on April 26, 2013.
On August 9, 2013, then-Governor Bob McDonnell announced that Goochland was one of 13 school divisions to be awarded the associated funding. Moreover, in his remarks, Governor McDonnell mentioned Goochland by name as having one of the strongest applications in the state. We are proud of this accomplishment, though much more proud of the ability to reward more than half of our teachers last month with bonus checks that averaged more than $3,000 (some as high as $5,000).
As last school year came to close, it appeared as if the state’s grant funding would remain in place for divisions to continue strategic compensation into the 2014-15 school year. Following the evaluation of our model, we planned to make some improvements to our structure and looked forward to continuing our efforts to reward our teachers with strategic compensation. This month we learned that the state’s grant funding was not included in the FY15 budget.
Despite this fact, we plan to sustain our strategic compensation framework as part of our overall performance evaluation and compensation model. Our School Board, Dr. Lane, and the entire division leadership team is committed to the efforts of rewarding professional excellence in the classroom – and we are exploring ways to extend the compensation model to our non-teaching staff as well.
Our leaders are working hard to identify funding that may be used to deliver on the model once again next June (June 2015), and we’re optimistic about the future viability of this innovative approach to compensating our team members above and beyond the traditional salary structure.
To our teachers – thank you … for your continued hard work and dedication to the GCPS community. We recognize that an end-of-year bonus check is not the primary motivator for your investment in our students. (Research, by the way, clearly places money 3rd or 4th on the list of what motivates most of us to work hard. Make no mistake, compensation is on the list … typically following (1) participating in a workplace with a culture of support and (2) having a voice in decision making.)
We know our team members will continue to do all of the amazing things they’ve always done for our students, our families, and our division – long before “strategic compensation” was a consideration.
Finally, we have a strong core membership to our committee who will continue to reflect on and improve our strategic compensation model moving forward. If you are a GCPS employee and interested in serving on this committee, please contact Dr. Lane (firstname.lastname@example.org) or me (email@example.com).