CLARKSVILLE — All Clinton-Massie employees will receive a one-time 1.1 percent bonus due to the district’s year-end cash reserves finishing above a targeted amount.
The across-the-board compensation is due to a negotiated item in the August 2012 teachers union contract, said Clinton-Massie Treasurer Tracy Parker. According to the contract provision, if the district ended fiscal year 2014 with more than a $2.7 million cash balance, then the district was required to award teachers a percentage bonus based on how much the $2.7 million threshold was surpassed.
In order to be fair, whenever one group of employees receives a benefit, the district tries to make the gain available to all groups, Parker said. With certified teachers getting the bonus, the school board voted Monday to also grant the bonus to administrative and classified employees, too.
Teachers have not received a base or cost-of-living raise for four years, said the treasurer.
The threshold amount of $2.7 million was chosen because that is the cash amount needed on-hand to fund district operations for 60 days, a time-period cushion considered wise in financial planning, Parker said.
In another matter, details have yet to be worked out but Clinton-Massie officials want to craft a policy to cut down on the amount of charged lunches that go unpaid.
At the end of the most recent school year, about $7,700 in charged lunches remained outstanding, according to Dr. David Baits, Clinton-Massie Local Schools superintendent.
Board of education members discussed the issue Monday, but postponed adopting a new lunch-charging policy to allow more time to spell out the specifics.
The members agreed parents need to be informed promptly if their child owes the district for lunches. While it was not voted on, there was board support for communicating with parents of elementary-level students after a second charged lunch. The feeling was young children can easily forget to bring lunch money once and it would be impractical to contact parents after one charged lunch.
Baits told the board there were “in the neighborhood of six to eight children” at each of the district’s three school facilities who had bills of more than $100 in outstanding lunch charges at the end of the past school year.
“We need to get a grip on this,” said Baits.
Board member Shane Carter suggested district staff communicate with families which accumulate outstanding lunch charges and advise them about the program for free and reduced lunches that’s available if income guidelines are met.
The lunch-charging policy under discussion is expected to provide for complimentary lunches after a student registers a certain number of charged meals that are unpaid, with three unpaid meals being the number mentioned Monday. It was stated a complimentary meal consists of a cheese sandwich, fruit and milk.
Elementary teacher Judi Sternsher was present at the meeting and said she has her own method for students who forget to bring lunch money. She said she kept enough money on hand for two lunches and has students sign a booklet if they borrow the money.
“I usually have it back the next day. I kind of do my own process so the kids don’t feel funny and they don’t necessarily have to deal with the cafeteria ladies on that,” said Sternsher.
Starting this school year, the district will have its own cafeteria operations rather than contracting with Sodexo.
Also discussed Monday was when to set cutoff dates for paying the district’s extra-curricular activity fees.
After the meeting, Baits said the fees have increased “significantly this year compared to last.” The participation fees apply to athletics and to certain clubs that use school transportation for travel, with service clubs exempted.
For the 2014-15 academic year, the extra-curricular activity fee per student per sport or organization is $50, with a maximum of $300 per student per year.
Though not formally voted on, Sept. 15 was mentioned Monday as the due date for students who want to be involved in fall activities. Winter and spring activities will have their own cutoff dates for paying the fee, officials said.
Gary Huffenberger can be reached at 937-382-2574, ext. 2512 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.