FAIRMONT - Fairmont Area Schools is officially a Q-comp school after the school board approved a memorandum of understanding with the local teachers union on Thursday.
Education Minnesota-Fairmont accepted the deal earlier in the week.
The program will bring nearly $440,000 into the district, money that will be set aside specifically for Q-comp expenses.
Q-comp uses the money to compensate teachers for adhering to certain performance standards, including three acceptable evaluations per year; completion of improvement plans; and attendance at professional learning community meetings.
Teachers can earn more money by serving as teacher observers, leaders who are trained to evaluate colleagues.
The Q-comp model is not widely used by Minnesota districts and is opposed by many at the state level teachers union. Only 50 of more than 300 districts use the program.
In fact, Fairmont teachers have twice voted down proposals to pursue Q-comp funding.
This time, things are going differently. Many teachers in the district are eagerly supporting the plan, which was drafted almost exclusively by union leaders with teacher input.
"More teachers have applied to be teacher observers than positions are available," Superintendent Joe Brown told the school board. "I am very proud of the faculty. They have been working on this for a number of years."
The funds dedicated to the teachers are not part of the school funding shift imposed on most district funds by the Legislature.