At a time when non-government workers are struggling to survive, cash-flush Charlottesville City Schools (CCS) is dumping thousand-dollar-bonuses on all full-time employees (FTEs)—and a prorated amount to part-timers—courtesy of the local and federal taxpayer.
According to an information sheet provided to the School Board, part of the cost will be borne using state-distributed federal COVID cash:
The State is using federal ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) pandemic relief funds to distribute $414,603.21 to Charlottesville City Schools for a bonus payment covering 385.14 FTE (full-time equivalent) SOQ funded instructional and support positions on December 1, 2022. School divisions are encouraged to use additional funds to provide pandemic bonuses to all instructional and support positions. Employee retention concerns would be significant if a bonus is not paid in an equitable manner.
In order to preserve “equity,” City taxpayers will be pitching-in an additional $439,406:
Charlottesville City Schools (CCS) has 793.32 FTE instructional and support positions including custodial and nutrition workers. The total cost of the one-time bonus payment is $854,009. CCS funds 408.18 FTE over the State’s SOQ. The additional cost to include all instructional and support positions for the bonus payment is $439,406.
The City’s share will be paid out of the CCS $2M+ “fund balance” aka surplus aka slush-fund:
The additional funds needed for the one-time bonus payment can be paid from CCS fund balance. CCS added $1,142,414 to fund balance from the close of FY 2022. The General (Operating) Fund fund balance including the FY 2022 addition is $2,301,428. Fund balance is used to cover one-time expenses and shortfalls in State revenue. Given the amount and timing for disbursement of these state funds designated to be used toward bonus payments, it is inherent in the budget authority and allowable uses of fund balance to use these funds to enable equitable payment of this one-time bonus for staff.
Generously, all bonused CCS employees will have their social security and Medicaid taxes covered, and those hired through November 1, 2022, will be eligible for the scheduled December 1, 2022 payout.
This is happening in most of the city districts and some private schools with state money. Elk Hill School in Staunton did this last fall. Likely doing it again. A lot of money was wasted on useless mitigation strategies only to be distributed amongst staff. I wonder if leadership got more than teachers and staff. How much did the Super take? I wonder.
Are workers who are poor or marginal performers also getting $1k bonuses? Lemme guess, educators: How can we tell which personnel are poor performers, right?