ROCK SPRINGS– At Monday night’s Sweetwater County School District #1 Board of Trustees meeting, the board approved a one-time bonus for eligible employees of the school district.
Salaries were frozen for the 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 school years.
“In spite of this, the District saw another opportunity to thank our employees for their continued support of our students,” Superintendent Kelly McGovern said.
The school district sent out a list of questions and answers regarding the one-time bonus, which are shown below.
How can the District fund this one-time bonus? Why is the one-time bonus happening now?
In July of 2018, the Board of Trustees at that time approved the 2018-2019 budget which included $3,500,000 earmarked for Staff Compensation. The District needed to wait until the Legislative session was completed to determine the effects on the District budget.
Once the session ended in March, the District updated the Board of Education and community with a fiscal outlook at the March 11, 2019 Meeting. The financial picture included a three-year projection of the District budget.
What is the total cost of the one-time bonus?
$3,755,002.41 in total for the general fund and grant funds. A breakdown includes: General Fund including the Counseling Grant and Nutrition Services ($3,529,038.72); Federal Grant Funds ($164,614.63); and Head Start Grant Funds ($61,349.06).
How many positions are impacted by the one-time bonus?
Approximately 928 employees (certified and classified)
Who is eligible for the one-time bonus?
To be eligible for this one-time payment, employees must be either full-time or part-time as of April 18, 2019, and have completed their first day of employment before March 1, 2019. Substitutes and temporary employees are not eligible for this one-time bonus.
How will the bonus be calculated?
For salaried employees, the amount will be based on six (6) experience steps of the applicable salary schedule of their primary job. For hourly employees, the amount will be based on six (6) experience steps of the applicable salary schedule of their primary job and their scheduled work hours of their primary job for the school year. Bonuses will be subject to required payroll taxes and Federal income tax withholding.
When will the one-time bonus be paid to an eligible employee?
The one-time payment will come in the form of a payroll run on April 26, 2019 made by direct deposit or paper check, whichever is currently on file with Payroll.
Why not give experience steps for a year of service and honor raises on the salary schedules instead of the one-time bonus?
At the time the budget was approved, the future of school funding was uncertain. By granting experience steps on the salary schedules, the District was not be able to sustain the cost over future years.
District Policy DA – Fiscal Management Goals notes the District is not allowed to use unpredictable revenue sources for reoccurring expenditures (i.e. salaries, benefits, etc.).
What is the fiscal vision moving forward?
The fiscal vision continues to be financially responsible and conservative to plan, prepare, and sustain the District’s future. We know that to positively impact our students, they need a great staff surrounding them. Thank you for your dedication to students over the past school year.