JANESVILLE — The Janesville School Board agreed to raises for principals and other administrators on an 8-1 vote Tuesday night.
At the same time, the board approved paying the administrators based on their skills and performance. Now, pay is based on experience.
The only dissenting voice was that of Peter Severson, who wanted to limit the new system to a one-year contract, but the rest of the board voted to keep the changes as proposed, a two-year contract starting in the 2013-14 school year.
Administrators will be eligible for an increase in their base pay of up to 1.5 percent and for incentive pay of up to 4.5 percent. It's highly unlikely that any administrator will get the full 6 percent, especially in the first year, because "the bar has been set rather high," said Superintendent Karen Schulte.
The change affects 35 individuals, including assistant principals and central-office administrators. The increases are expected to cost about $200,000 a year, which Schulte said was 0.016 percent of the district budget.
Severson said he didn't want to stop employees from continuing to get pay raises in the second year, but he said the district should not be locked into a system for two years before it's known that the system works well.
Extend the system next year if it's working, Severson suggested, or set a two-year contract next year.
The two-year contract is intended to show the district's commitment to its administrators, said Steve Sperry, director of human resources. Schulte said a two-year contract is standard practice.
Board member Kristin Hesselbacher said Schulte and her cabinet have worked hard to assemble its leadership team, and those administrators could go to another district, make the same money, not work as hard, and get a two-year contract.
"It's time to walk the talk about this performance-based leadership," Hesselbacher said, and that means rewarding performance.
Board President Bill Sodemann said if a principal delivers the kind of test-score increases the district is aiming for, he'd gladly pay the full amount budgeted for incentive pay.
Administrators have gotten only one raise in the past four years, a 2.5 percent increase in 2010.
The board has not addressed pay for other district workers next year, but it met in closed session Tuesday to consider offers to negotiate from the employee unions. Several residents addressed the board, asking them to negotiate with the teachers union.