Spotsylvania School Board Approves Restructured Staff Bonus Plan | Education


The Spotsylvania County School Board on Monday approved a restructured plan to provide bonuses to staff using the deferred funds.

In December, the school board approved the use of a portion of approximately $14 million in funds carried over from the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2021 to give all staff $1,000 bonuses. and to implement a mid-year hourly increase, starting in January 2022, for bus drivers and guards.

Under the new plan, which was proposed in a motion by April Gillespie, bonuses will be distributed only to active employees in good standing as of April 30, 2022, with school division payroll and the amount dependent on hours worked per week.

All full-time employees except those in “administration and anyone who earns more than $100,000 a year,” according to Gillespie’s motion, will receive the $1,000 bonus.

Part-time employees who work between 10 and 20 hours per week will receive $500 and those who work less than 10 hours will receive $250.

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The remainder of the carry forward funds will be spent as follows:

  • Contribution of $2.9 million to the fund for other post-employment benefits
  • $150,000 on a salary scale compression study
  • $2 million for “educational needs”

The remaining additional funds will be split between middle school art, music, and physical education programs; high school sports other than football; elementary music and physical education programs; and the school division’s enrichment program for gifted students.

School board members Gillespie, Kirk Twigg, Lisa Phelps and Rabih Abuismail voted in favor of the proposal.

This plan for carry-forward funds had not previously been discussed publicly by the board and, according to board members Dawn Shelley, Lorita Daniels and Nicole Cole, had not been shared with the full board.

Gillespie said in making his motion that the spending plan for carryover funds approved by the previous school board last year was “cancelled” because the carryover money does not belong to the school board until it is not. ‘wasn’t allocated by the supervisory board, which didn’t happen until this month.

She said the school board must “choose wisely” in deciding how to spend the funds.

“Laddering rewards based on hours worked is a smart move,” Gillespie said. “Giving the same reward regardless of the hours worked is an inequity and a discouragement to those who work more hours each week.”

Twigg said the restructured bonus plan will save about $1 million in carryover funds.

The new money plan presented by Gillespie does not include the mid-year increases for bus drivers and guards that were part of the original plan.

The increase in starting hourly wages for bus drivers and janitors is included in the school board’s budget request for the next fiscal year, which has not yet been approved by the board of supervisors.

Shelley, Cole and Daniels did not support the restructured deferral plan.

“To our staff, you know you deserve these January salary increases at the end of this fiscal year and the increase scheduled for next year,” Cole said.

Shelley called the new plan a “sham” and a “scam”.

“The reason for the bonus was that our staff deserved it,” she said. “We need our students to have the best possible people in all positions.”

Shelley said the $1,000 bonus could have been particularly helpful for employees working less than 10 hours a week, who will now receive $250, before taxes.

“They’re probably the ones who can use it the most,” she said. “I know I’m just saying it, and I could be wrong. But we must remember our people.

On Monday, the board also tasked Gillespie and Daniels with soliciting proposals from companies to lead the search for a new superintendent.

Twigg said he asked all board members to come to the meeting with a list of companies to consider.

Phelps came up with three proposals and made a motion to approve that of the lowest bidder, GR Recruiting, but overruled that motion after council counsel Brad King suggested that the selection of a firm without being open on how she had been selected could expose the council. to legal action.

“There are legitimate concerns that have been raised by some of your colleagues about the transparency with which this has been done that could expose you to a lawsuit,” King said. “I’m not saying they would win, but you might have that distraction.”

The board then discussed at length the need to define the scope of work that will form the basis of each company’s proposal.

Twigg said the companies will “introduce scope and timing” into their proposals, but Shelley and Cole said the board as a whole must first define the scope of work so that the companies respond to the same demand.

“We have to decide, how many superintendent candidates do we want? What is their timeline? How many public hearings will they hold? Will there be public hearings and surveys? These are things we have to make a decision on in order to compare apples to apples and not apples to watermelons,” Shelley said.

Cole moved a motion to approve a modified version of the request for proposals used last year by the City of Charlottesville Public Schools in its search for superintendent.

This motion passed by a vote of 3 to 2, with Shelley, Cole and Daniels supporting it and Twigg and Phelps voting against.

Abuismail and Gillespie abstained in the vote.

Gillespie and Daniels will present the proposals early next week and the board will discuss them at another special meeting on Tuesday, April 5.

Adele Uphaus-Conner:


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