Brittney Burns – Staff Writer
All school system employees working in non-teaching positions are now eligible for one-time merit-based bonuses after the Board of Education unanimously voted to allocate $33,000 out of local funds.
Earlier this year, the state passed legislation that directed school systems around the state to provide classified employees, custodians, cafeteria workers, teacher assistants, bus drivers, and other non-teaching positions, to develop criteria to award employees with a one time bonus. For Macon County, that meant $59,000 to divide up between 142 eligible employees based on state standards.
Members of the Macon County Board of Education found a problem in the state’s criteria, which mandates that to be eligible for the bonus, employees must be paid out of state dollars. In Macon County, 233 are considered classified employees, 142 of which are paid out of state funds. The 91 employees paid that are classified, but not paid from the state, are paid out of funds available. The positions may very well be mirror image positions, and just by chance are paid out of a different pocket of funds than their colleagues.
To be fair to all classified employees in the district, the Macon County Board of Education voted to use $33,000 out of local funds to provide the remaining 91 employees the same chance as the 142 employees that are state paid.
To be eligible for the one time merit-based bonus under state standards, an employee must have been an active employee on Jan. 1, 2106 and still be active as of Sept. 1, 2016. To meet the performance requirements for receiving the bonuses, classified employees who receive the bonuses this year must have at least one year of experience in the Macon County School system and have received an at-standard evaluation or above on the most recent evaluation. In addition, regular attendance is required for the full bonus.
Bonuses will be allocated based on years of service with state paid employees with 1-10 years receiving $250, 11-20 years $500, 21-29 years $750 and 30 plus years $1,000. The bonus amount each eligible employee shall receive shall be based on the percentage of employment.