Employees to get penny-per-dollar bonuses

JONESBORO — School employees will receive a penny-on-the-dollar bonus this coming school year in Clayton County.

The school board adopted a $352 million general operations budget, which includes the one-time, 1-percent bonus to all employees. Its fiscal year 2014 budget also includes capital projects and federal programs budgets cumulatively worth $532 million.

The board voted 8-1 Monday, approving the budgets. Michael King cast the dissenting vote.

The measure was recommended by Superintendent Luvenia Jackson this spring, when officials determined the board would receive $11.37 million more in revenues than anticipated.

The bonuses are expected to cost the district more than $2 million, and will push deficit spending to nearly $5.8 million this year.

The school board held four public hearings this spring on the matter to which few attended.

However, those opposed to the bonuses argued its marginal impact on household incomes. A 1-percent bonus for someone making $40,000 a year is about $33 per month.

The board will have a special called meeting July 11 to approve its FY14 millage rate. Officials expect the board will continue with its 20-mills max.

The next regular meeting has been rescheduled to July 29 at 6 p.m., in the board room, 1058 Fifth Ave. in Jonesboro. Its offices will be closed until July 8.