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Botetourt schools provide bonuses to employees

Botetourt schools provide bonuses to employees

Botetourt County Public School logo (copy) (copy)

The June paycheck is going to be significantly fatter for Botetourt County schools’ contracted employees.

The county School Board approved Superintendent Jonathan Russ’ recommendation that full-time employees receive a $2,000 bonus, and that part-timers receive $1,000 bonuses.

Russ and Buchanan District representative Michelle Austin said in Thursday’s school board meeting that they had wanted to wait till the end of the division’s fiscal year to provide the money, to make sure that the system wasn’t overdrawn at the end of the year.

“Fortunately, we are at a point where we can afford it,” Russ said in the meeting, which was live-streamed from the schools’ website.

The board began discussing the bonuses last year, Austin said, when she was its chair. They asked employees for patience, even as other school boards in the valley voted to provide extra money to teachers and other staff overburdened by COVID-19 changes. Russ said that every Botetourt school employee was effected, and in many cases, their workload tripled.

“You don’t know what you’re going to encounter, so we thought it was fiscally responsible … The last thing I wanted was to go back to the board of supervisors and say, whoops, we didn’t make our budget,” Austin said. “It had to be an appropriate time.”

She thanked school employees for their patience as she moved to accept Russ’ recommendation. Valley District board member Tim Davidick seconded the motion, which passed 5-0.

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