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MILFORD – The Caroline County School Board voted to award bonuses ranging from $800 to $1,200 for all school division employees, depending on years or service.
The bonuses, approved by a 4-1 vote – board member Mary Anderson was absent – at the panel’s regular meeting on Monday this week, will be paid later this month.
Full-time employees who have been with Caroline County Public Schools for two years or more will receive $1,200; part-time workers will get $600.
For employees with only one year of service, the bonuses will be $800 for full-time workers and $400 for part-time.
Employees must have performed successfully in the previous fiscal year based on a regular evaluation.
The bonuses, recommended by Superintendent Greg Killough, will be paid for with leftover federal stimulus funds amounting to a little over $500,000.
The dissenting vote came from Tinka Harris, who urged fellow board members to increase bonuses for support staff. “They’re very low paid, and I think they need more of the bonus,” she argued.
The only other board member who commented on the proposed bonus, Shawn Kelley, said Killough’s recommendation was more equitable for all employees. He suggested the panel focus on more compensation for support personnel as part of the next school division budget process.
In the 2012-13 fiscal year budget, which took effect July 1, school employees covered by the Virginia Retirement System received a 5.7 percent pay raise. However, they began contributing 5 percent of their salary to the VRS at the same time, and some actually may net a smaller paycheck because the pay raise may not entirely cover their increased taxes.
Support personnel did not receive a raise in the current budget.
In other action, the board went through a brief exercise to determine spending priorities for the school division’s next budget. The top four priorities, ranked in order of importance from the top down, are improving salaries for all personnel, fixing salary scales, increased funding in order to hire more teachers and assistants, and replacing aging buses.
The next two budget priorities were, in order, renovating Caroline High School and improving athletic facilities at Caroline High School and Caroline Middle School, but board members agreed to address them through the school division’s capital improvement planning process.