Board Delays Vote On Bonuses For Teachers, Staff

Hamilton County teachers and staff members won’t have a bonus as a stocking stuffer this year. And one teacher isn’t happy about it.

“I’m hurt, disappointed, disgusted. And I question the sincerity of the people who are elected and say they want quality teachers in the schools. But you pay for what you get,” said Jennifer Woods, teacher at Washington Alternative School.

In a 5-4 vote, board members voted to delay their decision on the bonuses. A vote for the measure would have meant a $500 bonus for certified school employees, and $400 for others.

It was proposed by Superintendent Jim Scales and Chief Financial Officer Tommy Kranz.

“We would provide this bit of thank you to our teachers, administrators and support staff in the field for the work they’ve done to provide for  a quality education for our students,” Scales said.

Most of the $2.1 million for the bonuses would come from a $6.3 million federal job assistance program. Scales said they would take $350,000 out of the school’s budget to cover other employees. He said the federal program only covers employees at the school level. Money for workers at the county’s central office would have to come from another source, he added. But taking that money out of the school’s budget didn’t sit well with some board members.

“I think we need to wait and see what’s going on. We’re taking $350,000 out of our general budget after we told the people of Hamilton County we’re broke,” Board Member Rhonda Thurman said.

But others say, although the money could be spent on other school programs or distributed under better economic climates, it’s the right thing to do.

“That’s a drop in the bucket [bonuses]. I understand we have problems but people have wants and needs. We’re talking about family members,” Board Member George Ricks said.


The Board plans to revisit ways to spend the money.

They have until September 2012 to use the federally-backed funds.





This news, Board Delays Vote On Bonuses For Teachers, Staff excerpt from News Channel 9

Short URL: http://www.usnews9.com/?p=4555

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