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Performance-Based Teacher Compensation

Teacher writing on whiteboard

In Gwinnett County Public Schools, we believe that there are great teachers in every school in the district and that recognizing the top-performing teachers at every school acknowledges that, despite their differences, all schools have teachers who deserve to be celebrated.

J. Alvin Wilbanks,

Why did Gwinnett County Public Schools move to a Performance-Based Teacher Compensation System?

Advances the district’s work toward a teacher effectiveness system based on performance

  • Supports the Strategic Initiative that focuses on implementing revised evaluation and compensation systems
  • Serves as a means to clearly communicate compensation information to teachers
  • Maintains a salary index schedule for GCPS
  • Allows teachers to identify their base salary from the salary schedule
  • Uses fair metrics to reward performance

Increases the district’s capacity to recruit and retain effective teachers

  • Encourages best teachers to stay in Gwinnett; provides greater opportunities for new teachers
  • Establishes performance, not experience credit, as the criteria for movement on the salary schedule
  • Bases advancement on the salary schedule on a summary evaluation rating of “proficient” or higher
  • Rewards highly effective teachers with a performance pay award

Builds the capacity of teachers

  • Emphasizes professional development and preparation
  • Focuses staff development on an educator’s teaching responsibilities and their contributions to the teaching/ learning process

Performance-Based Teacher Compensation System (PBTCS)

In the fall of 2015, Gwinnett County Public Schools kicked off a three-year process to implement a fair, flexible compensation system to provide opportunities for employees to be rewarded and recognized for exceptional performance rather than solely years of service. The initial work on the system focused on compensation for certified staff members. The Performance-Based Teacher Compensation System rewards individual teachers who meet expectations on their performance evaluations and provides financial awards to top performing teachers at the district and school levels. There are two parts to the new system— a Performance-Based Salary Schedule and a Performance-Based Award.

Performance-Based Compensation System for Teachers

The Performance-Based Compensation System for Teachers rewards individual teachers who meet expectations on their performance evaluations and rewards top performers with additional financial awards. There are two parts to the compensation system. All teachers are compensated on the district’s Performance-Based Salary Schedule. The Performance-Based Awards (PBA) are designed to reward and retain teachers who are making the biggest difference in students’ success.

Important note for 2020–21: Due to the disruption of the 2019-20 school year and the impact this had on data collection, GCPS was unable to calculate scores for PBAs for this past school year, so awards will not be distributed in December 2020 as planned. Based on current conditions and the uncertainty about so many things that could affect the PBA process, GCPS has determined it will pause its Performance-Based Awards program for the 2020–21 school year as well.

Performance-Based Salary Schedule

In August of 2017, GCPS transitioned all teachers and certified staff compensated on the district’s teacher salary schedule to a Performance-Based Salary Schedule. This salary schedule acknowledges performance— not time on the job— as the impetus for movement on the salary schedule. Under the Performance-Based Salary Schedule, a teacher advances one “performance step” for the next contract year upon achieving a rating of “Proficient” or higher on the annual Teacher Assessment on Performance Standards (TAPS) or equivalent annual evaluation tool. Employees earning TAPS ratings of “Needs Development” or “Ineffective” will not move a performance step, but remain on their current step for the next contract year.

Performance-Based Awards

Performance-based awards were implemented as Phase 2 of the overall Performance-Based Teacher Compensation System in 2018-19, with the first awards being distributed in the fall of 2019. GCPS created two paths to the awards to ensure more teachers have the opportunity to be eligible for the performance-based award. The Four-Metric Path is for eligible teachers who have scores on the four metrics (Professional Growth, TAPS Evaluation, Student Growth, and Weighted School Assessment). Eligible teachers with scores on all performance metrics except Student Growth will be included in the Three-Metric Path. It's one system with two paths to the awards, providing a great way for GCPS to recognize that there are great teachers in every school in the district who deserve to be celebrated. We also believe that rewarding outstanding teachers will help us with teacher recruitment, retention, and morale, all of which impact student achievement. Additionally, incentivizing top performance in every school will help us improve the education we provide across the district.

General Information and Eligibility:

Recent Superintendent's Messages:

GCPS Public (Main Tabs & Content) - Metrics Tracking Script
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