Portland School Board Approves an “Appreciation Bonus” for All School Staff
The Portland Board of Education approved a “one-time bonus” for all Portland School staff at its regularly scheduled meeting tonight in recognition of their work during Covid-19. “This isn’t for extra work they may have done. This bonus is to recognize their commitment during this time.” The bonus applies to all salaried and hourly staff who are employed by the district. The bonus will be 2% of a staff person’s salary, or in the case of hourly employees 2% of their actual pay up to designated dates. The Board voted 6-0 to approve the bonus, with Board Member Brian Pohl abstaining due to the fact that his spouse is employed by the school district.
Superintendent Will Heath emphasized that this bonus is a one-time event and will not include any other benefits. The 2% bonus will be made in two separate payments of 1% each. One payment will be on December 4th and the other on July 2,2021. Eligible staff must be currently employed on the date of each scheduled payment.
Earlier in the school year the Board was looking at a deficit of $1.4 Million for the fiscal year. However, an increase in state aid and one-time COVID-19 federal funding, in addition to a couple of other administrative changes, turned the deficit around and left the Portland Schools with a projected fund balance of $4.2 Million. This allows the school system: to give employees a mask stipend ($10,000); buy two new school busses ($121,500); hire a director of secondary education ($80,380); and to provide a one time 2% bonus to all staff ($210,268).
School Board President Linda Hoxie-Green said, “Teachers and staff are working in a situation that is new to everyone. This is a thank-you to them for putting kids and safety first.”