SANDY — Jordan School District, like many districts around the state, is examining the pros and cons of the Legislature's directive to implement a one-time performance-based compensation plan for educators.

Jordan School Board members voted 5-2 to approve its district's plan during its regular meeting Tuesday night.

The Legislature has earmarked $20 million in one-time funding for the compensation plans. The money will be doled out to districts statewide based on enrollment. Jordan district, with its 80,000 students, estimates it could receive roughly $2 million.

The State Board of Education set guidelines for the performance-based compensation less than two months ago. Since then, districts have been scrambling to come up with a plan that will have to be submitted to the State Office of Education by July 1. Each plan will be unique to its district.

Jordan district formed a committee to come up with a proposed plan. The committee met three times and also engaged in considerable electronic communication.

The plan it recommended to the board Tuesday night calls for teacher compensation to be based on 30 percent performance evaluations; 30 percent U-PASS test scores; and 40 percent Indicators of School Quality program.

Board members spent 40 minutes in discussions on the compensation plan issue during Tuesday night's study session. There was also 20 minutes of comments among board members during the regular meeting before the board voted.

Board members Sherril H. Taylor and Kim M. Horiuchi voted against approving the plan.

Some board members said they felt pressured by the time crunch and would like more time to study the issue.

Other board members said they felt the district had better take advantage now of this opportunity for one-time funding. "You have to start sometime," said board president J. Dale Christensen.

Board member Randy S. Brinkerhoff said, "I would feel remiss if we didn't take advantage of the one-time money."

Other board members said they are worried that implementing a performance-based pay will cause teachers to stop collaborating and end up competing more. This could result in low morale.

Horiuchi said, "This is a big issue and it has the potential to be divisive."

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