The School Board is scheduled to vote June 28 on a recommendation to give $1,000 bonuses to full-time employees.
During the June 7 meeting, Chief Financial Officer Sheron Willoughby presented the plan, which would cost $16.9 million to carry out.
The bonuses are contingent upon state government funding, which administrators foresee allowing for the plan, although a budget has not yet been adopted in Richmond. The money would come from $5.2 million in unspent fiscal year 2022 funds, and $5.2 million from the fiscal year 2023 budget.
“This is a delicate plan, we will continue to watch what happens at the state level,” Willoughby said, likening the plan to a house of cards.
Ian Serotkin (Blue Ridge) asked whether bonuses could be awarded on a sliding scale if the total amount of funding is not available from the state. Willoughby indicated that if the full amount is not available for the initiative, the board could move forward with an alternate plan.
On May 24, the board voted to award $1,000 bonusses to special education teachers, teaching assistants, and staff members working in self-contained classrooms, as well as to custodians and school nutrition workers.
Last school year, nine high-level administrators received bonuses totaling $105,600. Principals, assistant principals, and several other staff members received $2,000. Many teachers were outraged when they were awarded challenge coin mementos instead of bonuses.
Denise Corbo (At Large) suggested that administrators who received bonuses during fiscal year 21 should be omitted from consideration for bonuses.
“I think that part of the concern has been that we have not given our educators and support staff bonuses,” she said.
Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) said that the functionality of the school division is contingent upon all employees doing their jobs, and that she would not vote on awarding bonuses to only some employees.
The board voted to table action on the recommendation until June 28.