Monday, December 17, 2012

Dallas ISD Trustees could not discuss an executive performance pay plan that was not on the board briefing agenda

During the Board Briefing last Thursday, December 13, 2012, a non-existent Dallas ISD performance pay proposal was referred to by Board President Lew Blackburn. 

Trustee Lew Blackburn previously voted to give the Superintendent sole authority over all executive level positions and salaries with no Board review or approval.

The vote to give the Superintendent total authority in his contract to select executive staff and set top executive salaries without Board approval  was 8-1 on Thursday, April 26, 2012:

Voting Yes

Lew Blackburn
Mike Morath
Edwin Flores
Nancy Bingham
Bernadette Nutall
Eric Cowan
Adam Medrano
Bruce Parrott

Voting No
Carla Ranger

After voting to give away all Board authority, now we have a new proposal that would require a 25% voluntary executive pay reduction for executive staff in return for the very uncertain prospect of earning it back in performance pay.

The idea mixes performance pay with a voluntary executive level 25% pay cut.
"Superintendent Mike Miles didn’t comment after Blackburn made his position known at the meeting, but he has said he wouldn’t support a pay cut. Trustees also didn’t comment." DMN-12-13-12
Trustees did not comment. There was nothing to say. Trustees cannot discuss an item that is not on the agenda. To do so is a violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act (TOMA). 

The Board President - Lew Blackburn - did not place executive performance pay on the Board Briefing Agenda.

Trustee Blackburn talked about a topic other Trustees could not discuss wthout an agenda item listing that topic.

Good luck on getting any top executive to take a voluntary 25% salary cut in return for the uncertainty of performance pay. This is a way of joining the popular idea of top executive pay cuts to the unpopular concept of performance pay (merit pay, incentive pay).

There is plenty of evidence that performance pay is not a good thing in the public arena of education. Yet, it continues to be pushed by those advancing a privatization agenda.

Performance pay should be judged on its own merit. 

The last merit pay plan implemented at Dallas ISD ended when the funds quickly dried up. I voted against it when it was adopted. The same thing is likely to happen again.
Why performance pay doesn't work - CBS Money Watch

"Board president Lew Blackburn said he also supported Miles and said that his contract allows him to establish salary ranges for high-ranking administrators without board approval."

"Blackburn stresses that the plan — which would impact cabinet-level employees and assistant superintendents — is in the early development stage and not set in stone. He plans to gauge trustee interest during next week’s board briefings."

"Lew Blackburn, the board president, stated that he doesn’t have a problem with the salaries as long as Miles stays within budget."

More Dallas ISD employees making six figure salaries - DMN-11-26-12
Board President Lew Blackburn has said that he doesn’t have a problem with the salaries as long as Miles stays within budget.  ... "Salaries don’t bother me as much because I know that they can attract top quality people, 'Blackburn said. “Whether that means that we have them right now, I don’t know.”