Fulton school employees to get bonuses

The Fulton County school board voted Thursday night to spend $9.4 million in surplus funds on employee bonuses to make up for missed raises.

The payment, suggested by Superintendent Robert Avossa, is the school board's way of saying thanks to its staff.

“We certainly value our employees,” said board member Linda Bryant. “They are the backbone of our school system. They are what makes us great.”

Classroom teachers will receive $1,000. All other full-time employees in support roles and in central office will receive $500.

Part-time employees  will receive payments ranging from $250 to $990 depending on their job role and employment status.

To be eligible for the one-time payment, employees must have been on the payroll as of December 1 and still be working for the district.

Employees will see the money in their paychecks between Feb. 29 and March 2.

“It is great that in this time of economic downturn the superintendent has chosen to show such appreciation to teachers by allocating funds to faculty as opposed to using them in other areas of the county’s budget,"said Vera Woods, a kindergarten teacher at High Point Elementary School. "We are thankful.”

Fulton schools budget officials have been working on the plan since December.

"It’s through the board’s diligent oversight of the budget that we are in a financial situation sound enough to do this,” Avossa said.

The money is the result of a mid-term budget adjustment, said Robert Morales, the district's chief financial officer. The district will not be using budget reserves, but actual approved budget allocations, he said.

“We had some additional revenues that came in that were not budgeted and we also reduced expenditures,” Morales said.

Avossa said he is pleased to offer the extra payment even as salaries have stagnated.

“I think it's wonderful,” said Angela Young, director of contracting. “I will save it.”