Bedden awarded bonus of $15,000

The Richmond County Board of Education will award Superintendent Dana Bedden $15,000 this year for meeting all of his contract's performance incentives, the board announced at its Tuesday meeting.

Dr. Bedden said he plans to give some of the money to a charitable organization but has not decided which one. The $15,000 will be added to his base salary, which is $186,000 this fiscal year after deducting pay lost from furlough days.

"He has done an outstanding job," board President Marion Barnes said. "He exceeded our expectations in some of the areas."

The performance targets are in three areas: student achievement, financial management and facilities.

Student achievement data is based on factors such as graduation rates and the number of schools meeting all federal adequate yearly progress goals. Financial management involves developing a new budget timeline; facilities goals are based on "rightsizing" schools and reducing expenditures on nonactive school properties.

A total of $5,000 was awarded for each of the three categories.

The performance-based incentives were determined in contract negotiations last year. The board discussed the targets during a brief executive session Tuesday before taking a public, unanimous vote.

"He met the goals that we set for him," Mr. Barnes said. "He's entitled to the money."

Dr. Bedden said he has mixed feelings about performance-based pay, especially in light of the dour economy and the tight financial straits most school districts across the country are facing.

"I would not sit here and think, 'You can do this by yourself,' " he said after the meeting.

The board also voted to approve calendars for the next two school years. The 2010-11 school year is scheduled to start Monday, Aug. 9, and end Friday, May 20. The 2011-12 academic year will start Monday, Aug. 8, and end Friday, May 18.

The board will take up discussion next month on a policy to ban students from wearing saggy pants during after-school events.

Attorney Pete Fletcher will draft a policy for board consideration.

Board Vice President Alex Howard brought the issue up in a committee meeting last week. He said he had seen students wearing pants sagging near their bottoms during recent football games.

Reach Erin Zureick at (706) 823-3217 or erin.zureick@augustachronicle.com.