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Lexington School District One Board of Trustees approved one-time bonuses for employees Tuesday

Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) 12/02/2020 - Lexington School District One's Board of Trustees approved a one-time bonus for its employees at their Tuesday night meeting. Discussion of this proposal was listed on the agenda as Employee One-Time Bonus. That was released to the public as prescribed by SC law through the media and the district’s website.

The plan would allow Lexington District One to pay a one-time bonus of $1000 to each full-time employee, and $500 to each part time employee that has worked for the district during the 2020 pandemic. The part time employees eligible for the $500 bonus are ones that have worked fewer than 30 hours per week during that period. Substitute teachers that have worked more than 45 days will also receive the $500 bonuses.

The bonus checks will actually reflect a gross amount higher than $1000 or $500 for each employee. Those higher gross amounts are because the board also agreed to pay each of its employees’ FICA and minimum state or federal withholdings on these. Once the withholdings have been subtracted from the gross, the bonus checks should net each eligible employee a “bring home” of roughly $1,000 or $500 the board agreed they have earned this year. The vote to approve these was unanimous.

The total of the bonuses will cost the district approximately $6.5 million dollars. These funds will come from an $8.4 million dollar surplus the district has accumulated because some of their standard sources of income have exceeded the projected amounts for the fiscal year. The school district also saw substantial savings on expenses that are normally associated with operating the schools when the doors are open, and the entire student body is on campus. These savings include utilities cost like water and sewer services, heating and cooling, disposable supplies like copier paper, toilet tissue, and paper towels, and a freeze on travel that was implemented after the pandemic struck.

The one thing that increased substantially during the pandemic was the amount of work that District One employees have done since the schools closed. They had to plan, learn, and implement distance learning protocols. Virtual learning often requires that teachers meet with each individual student online rather than assisting several students at a time if they are struggling with a similar lesson or problem. Even the custodial staffs’ workloads have increased because of the stepped-up sanitation protocols. Until these bonuses were approved the district's dedicated employees had basically been uncompensated for all the extra effort they’ve put in.

In approving this bonus plan, the district’s administrative staff and the board of trustees showed they realize and appreciate the additional strain the pandemic has put on their employees. Employees will receive these bonus checks on December the 18th of this year.


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