By Ashleigh Costello

JANESVILLE, Wis. – The Janesville, Wisconsin school board voted 8-1 Tuesday to adopt a new pay system that will reward principals and other administrators based on performance.

handsmoneyUnder the new two-year contract, 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, reports the Janesville Gazette.

The increases are expected to cost the district about $200,000 a year, less than one percent of the total budget.

Superintendent Karen Schulte said it’s unlikely that any administrator will receive the full 6 percent raise in the first year.

“[T]he bar has been set rather high,” said Schulte.

Board President Bill Sodemann told the Gazette that if a principal delivers the kind of test score results the district is aiming for, he would gladly pay the full amount budgeted for incentive pay.

Incentive (or merit) pay has been a point of contention for many school districts, but the issue generally involves classroom teachers.  They are traditionally compensated based on years of experience and level of college degree, but many feel the most effective teachers should be paid more, and lesser teachers should be given incentive to do better.

Janesville is helping to blaze a new trail by offering a similar program for administrators. School board members obviously feel that their best efforts will help inspire teachers and other staff members to pick up the pace, as well.

It’s also healthy to have administrators lead by example. Teachers will notice that everyone in the building will have to work harder to get more money, and the overall sense of fairness will probably benefit the entire district staff.

Janesville administrators last received a 2.5 raise in 2010.

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