Reynoldsburg schools Superintendent Steve Dackin's annual salary will remain the same for the next four years unless he reaches performance goals that have yet to be determined by the board of education.

Reynoldsburg schools Superintendent Steve Dackin's annual salary will remain the same for the next four years unless he reaches performance goals that have yet to be determined by the board of education.

The board voted unanimously last week to renew Dackin's contract and his $120,156 per year salary. The four-year contract includes no cost-of-living raises but does say he can earn up to a 5-percent bonus for meeting each set of goals. Doing so would result in a one-time payment for that year of up to $24,000.

"We're very confident he is going to shoot for the stars. He always has," board of education President Mary Burcham said.

She said the board has yet to discuss what the performance goals will be but said they will be data-driven or measurable and should be in place by July when the new contract begins.

She said the goals could be tied to any number of things, such as meeting adequate yearly progress (AYP) or the district's yearly state report card.

"Those are just a couple of things that could possibly be, but we haven't begun to discuss them yet," Burcham said. "We have to grab hold of our budget. We can't keep giving automatic pay raises year after year."

Dackin's contract could also set the stage for the board to consider performance-based salary increases for teachers and bus drivers.

"We would like this to be the start," Burcham said.

"We're going to the table with both the unions, with teachers and bus drivers. Both contracts need negotiating this year and we're going to negotiate hard," she said.

"It's something we need to look into to see how we can measure performance, but we want to put up some very lofty goals and make it be merit-based," Burcham said. "You're not going to automatically get your 3-percent raise every year. You need to earn your raises. You need to earn your bonus."

Typically, teachers receive a yearly cost-of-living raise but last year, Reynoldsburg teachers agreed to a pay freeze since the district was in a financial crisis and was trying to pass an operating levy. Dackin took a pay cut and other central-office employees and administrators agreed to reduce their contracts by eight days.

During the past five years, district officials eliminated $20-million in anticipated expenses from the budget, including $3-million in cuts this school year

Voters finally approved a 6.9-mill incremental levy last May, after three failed attempts.

Dackin said the key for his new contract is that any performance-based increases will be one-time payments each year, if he meets the goals.

"In most school districts in Ohio, you have steps. When an employee goes from step one to step two, that increase is figured in on their base salary," Dackin said. "So their base salary increases from one year to the next, so that is an exponential cost increase to the board."

He said one of the reasons why school district expenditures continue to go up year after year is because the vast majority of employees are getting annual step increases that escalate their base salaries. Under the conditions of his new contract, there is no exponential gain, it's a one-time lump sum, Dackin said.

"Whatever the key is, I go right back to $120,156 the following year," he said. "My job is to ensure kids learn at the highest levels. Therefore, if I'm going to be eligible for any raise, that raise should occur if I can demonstrate in some measurable way that those things have occurred.

"The idea that I should just get a raise simply because I breathe from one year to the next I'm sorry, fundamentally, it ought to be linked to the performance of the organization," he said.