Fort Worth

Fort Worth superintendent gets $25,000 bonus to go along with $330,000 salary

Superintendent Kent Scribner received a $25,000 bonus for academic gains shown in the Fort Worth school district in 2017.

The salary performance incentive was approved by an 8-1 vote by school trustees during Tuesday night’s special meeting.

The bonus is tied to the district’s focus on early literacy, middle school math and college/career readiness. It also comes almost a month after voters approved a record $750 million bond package.

Included in the academic gains made by the district was reducing the number of “improvement required” schools from 22 in 2016 to 14 this year, according to the Texas Education Agency.

“It is encouraging when your bosses recognize performance. Educational reform will be accelerated when student growth and achievement are incentivized. We are already seeing those results in our Leadership Academies,” Scribner said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Trustee Ann Sutherland cast the sole dissenting vote.

“I am a great supporter of the superintendent — possibly even his strongest supporter,” Sutherland said before the votes were cast. “... I cannot agree with increases in salary that are so great in addition to one who makes so much more than teachers and the other staff.”

Scribner’s base pay is $330,000 a year. His contract, which was approved last year, includes a performance bonus incentive between $15,000 to $25,000 per year at the board’s discretion.

Fort Worth school district teachers earned an average of $57,220 for the 2016-17 school year, according to data compiled by the Texas Education Agency. The state average was $52,525 for the 2016-17 school year.

For the 2017-18 school year, the average is not yet available but will include the 2 percent raise approved by the board earlier this year.

Scribner was hired in 2015 to oversee the district of more than 86,000 students. He replaced Walter Dansby, who resigned as superintendent in June 2014.

In 2016, Scribner’s first full year at the helm of Fort Worth schools, the district was the center of a national dialogue on transgender student rights. His critics included Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who called for his resignation. Scribner also worked to put the focus on childhood literacy through a program that aims to have 100 percent of third-grade students reading on grade level by 2025.

In 2017, Scribner’s evaluation included measurement of three district goals based on student performance on State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness tests, or STAAR. The results for 2017 in Grade 3 reading, ninth-grade math and high school tests such as the ACT and SAT exceeded expectations, according to data presented to trustees in executive session.

“Thank you, Dr. Scribner, for being here and for serving this community,” Trustee Ashley Paz told the superintendent after the board voted.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Diane A. Smith: 817-390-7675, @dianeasmith1

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