The TUSD Governing Board approved a contract for Superintendent John Pedicone Tuesday night and agreed to award him a $35,000 bonus in performance pay.

The performance pay is built into Pedicone's contract but is withheld each year pending an evaluation by the board.

While Governing Board members said Pedicone did not accomplish all of the goals laid out for him, they elected to give him 47 percent of the bonus he was eligible for, which translated into more than $35,000.

Last year Pedicone was awarded a performance pay bonus of $30,000 but did not accept it, saying it was inappropriate in light of Tucson Unified School District's budget woes. That money was then funneled into the general fund, used for day-to-day operations.

This year, as TUSD faces a budget deficit of $17 million, Pedicone said he will make a decision later on whether to keep the bonus.

Governing Board members Adelita Grijalva, Alex Sugiyama, Michael Hicks and President Miguel Cuevas supported the award of the bonus. Mark Stegeman abstained from the vote, saying he had concerns about the process. He did not elaborate.

Pedicone's evaluation was based on seven areas, each of which carried different weights: achievement (25 percent), student enrollment (15 percent), dropout rate (15 percent), desegregation budget (10 percent), transportation (15 percent), customer service (15 percent) and grants (5 percent).

In the category that carried the most weight - achievement - goals to be met included:

• Increasing by 5 percent students meeting or exceeding AIMS at all levels: Improvement was seen at all levels with a 2.6 percent rate of improvement at elementary, 2.9 percent at middle, and 1.8 percent at high schools.

• Reducing the number of "D" schools by 25 percent at elementary and middle schools, and by 50 percent at high schools: The goal was met at elementary (45 percent reduction) and middle schools (25 percent reduction), but not at the high school level, which had a 25 percent reduction in "D" schools.

• Increasing achievement results in each ethnic group (Anglo, African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American and multiracial) by grade level: Reading increased in three of the six ethnic groups - Hispanics, Asian-Americans and multi-racial; math achievement increased in four of the six ethnic groups - Anglo, Hispanic, Asian-American and multiracial.

• Improving the overall culture and performance of two turnaround schools - Palo Verde and Rincon high schools.

The board also approved a contract for Pedicone on a vote of 3-1-1 that raised his annual base salary from $205,000 to $211,000, plus benefits and additional allowances for his vehicle, civic responsibilities and technology. This also extends Pedicone's contract, which was originally set to expire June 30, 2013, to June 30, 2014.

Cuevas supported the contract along with Grijalva and Sugiyama. Hicks abstained and Stegeman voted against it.

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at or 573-4175.