CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – The Chesterfield school board gave the thumbs up to school employees getting a two percent bonus. The move was made possible because of a $15-million surplus announced late Tuesday afternoon.
A unanimous vote locked in good news for Chesterfield County public school employees. A $15-million fund balance means extra money in their pockets.
"Every penny makes a huge difference because we put out so much money every day, you know in our classrooms, so it will make a huge difference," said teacher Samantha McMillian.
That huge difference translates into a paycheck for 2% of their salary. The district plans to give that onetime payment to all employees by the end of June.
An extra 2% bonus on a $40,000 a year salary equals about an extra $800 paycheck. That's money that some school teachers desperately need.
The school system saved the extra money by conserving fuel and other utilities, not filling vacant positions, and participating in a one-time holiday provided by the Virginia retirement system. But the districts announcement has some people criticizing the timing of the find.
"They don't find it until just before the school board meeting tonight? The citizens had no idea about this," said Brenda Stewart with Citizen Watch Dog.
But cheers from Chesterfield public school employees when the announcement was made shows it came right on time for them. Of the $15-million the district will save, only $6.5-million is being used to pay employees. The rest of the money must be returned to the Board of Supervisors based on Virginia law.