The Klein ISD board of trustees approved a compensation plan July 14 that included a 5 percent raise for all employees at the control point of the salary, or a point between the minimum and maximum salary offered by the district.

Klein ISD officials recommended the 5 percent increase as part of the staff compensation plan for the 2014-15 school year to the board at a meeting July 14. Salaries for current teachers will increase from $51,675 to $54,000 while incoming teachers with no experience see an increase from $47,600 to $50,000.

Teachers with a master's degree receive an additional $1,000 while a doctorate degree comes with an additional $2,000.

The board of trustees unanimously approved the 5 percent raise July 14 after debating whether or not to consider a performance-based incentive as part of next year's compensation plan.

"While I support [the 5 percent raise], I'm personally opposed to spreading it evenly all the way around," Vice President Steven Smith said. "To think that a 20-year excellent employee makes as much as a 2-year employee that does just enough to not get fired is just not fair."

Trustee Stephen Szymczak made a motion to approve a 4 percent raise and wait on the final 1 percent to give KISD administrators time to come back in 30-60 days with possible performance incentive options.

"I don't see any danger to going down this path," Szymczak said. "It may provide a start to a study that might result in better overall performance. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I don't see this as a radical departure. It's just pushing the envelope and seeing where this goes in a year or two."

However, not the entire board agreed on pursuing a performance-based incentive. Secretary Rick Mann did not support performance-based incentives based on differences between education and other industries and the inability of the district to cut salaries based on poor performance.

Superintendent Jim Cain said state-funded performance-based education programs have failed in the past, and he did not believe performance-based incentives would be successful for the district.

"I'm not convinced that performance pay makes a significant difference in performance," Cain said. "As I've said on other occasions, if I thought performance pay would be a good thing for the school district, I would have already recommended it. So I'm not an advocate for performance pay based on what I know today."

Although Szymczak's motion was initially approved 4-3, the board went to executive session and ultimately repealed the motion in favor of the original 5 percent proposal.

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