News Obits School/Sports Community Opinion

— Proposed bonuses for Gentry school employees were not taken up by the school board on its Monday agenda.

A recommendation was brought by David Shelby, of the personnel policy committee, for bonuses of $1,000 for each of the school’s 195 employees at Monday night’s school board meeting. The recommendation was made under the agenda item “Proposed Policy Revisions or Additions.”

“The PPC proposes $1,000 bonuses for all employees, certified and classified,” Shelby said.

Shelby said the money for the bonuses could be covered by the $42,000 in back taxes which had mistakenly not been paid to the school district and by the $171,000 in savings the district had by not filling a number of staff positions which became vacant through resignations, retirements and reduction in staff.

The district could use the $213,000 to give bonuses for the 195 employees and would have money left over, Shelby said. He suggested the bonuses be paid before the end of the calendar year.

Gentry School District superintendent Dr. Randy Barrett pointed out that the proposal was not really a policy revision and suggestedthat the personnel policy committee limit its focus to reviewing and proposing school policies and policy changes, as spelled out in the law. He added that teachers and staff could request to be placed on the school board agenda to discuss salary and bonuses if they wish.

“I didn’t hear a policy recommendation from the PPC,” Barrett said. “Everything Mr. Shelby said is of merit, but it is not a revision of the salary schedule. If the staff wants to bring concerns, they could ask for a spot on the agenda.”

Barrett said he favoreddoing something for the teachers and school staff but felt it would be better to wait until the end of the school year to see where the district finishes financially. He said if the district has the money at the close of the school year, the board could adjust the salary schedule at that time for the current year.

The money the district saved by not filling vacant staff positions was money the district needed to be released from its fiscal-distress standing with the State Board of Education, Barrett said, adding that he was more cautious after the experience of being in fiscal distress.

The Gentry School District was released from fiscal distress only a month ago.

Following the PPC bonus proposal and Barrett’s response, the school board moved on to other agenda items.

In other business, Barrett reported to the school board that the district had finished its fourth period with an ending balance of about $1.4 million, which, Barrett said, is where the district needs to be with its finances.

The school board also approved six student-transfer requests, three into the district and three out. The three students requesting a transfer into the district are already students in Gentry schools, Barrett said, and the three requesting transfers out of the district have not been attending Gentry schools.

News, Pages 1 on 11/18/2009

Print Headline: Staff bonus proposal out of place

Sponsor Content