Employees at the Robstown Independent School District will have some extra money in their pockets when they head to their Thanksgiving break this Friday.
Superintendent Alfonso Obregon announced Monday that at 3 p.m. Friday the district intends to distribute to employees nearly $2 million in incentive money generated from a recent Tax Ratification Election.
In October, the board voted to give $1.86 million, nearly the entire amount the district expects to receive this year, to the employees as a performance incentive.
Under the terms of that plan, payments will include $4,000 to administrators, $3,500 to campus professional staff, $2,500 to non-certified personnel and $1,000 to part-time personnel.
By law, the district cannot distribute the funds as a bonus, so Obregon said the district is currently conducting a campaign, called "Be cool, pack the school," to increase attendance. The campaign will continue until noon Friday, with a goal of reaching 95 percent attendance across the district.
On Nov. 9, the RISD Board of Trustees approved two budget amendments to transfer funds associated with dispersing the TRE money.
Obregon said the plan is to pay the dispersement using reserve money from the district's fund balance. Once the money is received from the state, which Obregon said is expected to happen in January, an additional budget amendment will be brought before the board to replenish the reserve funds.
In other business Nov. 9, the board authorized a contract with the Texas Association of School Boards that will bring independent auditors to review the district's salary schedule and staffing levels.
Ann Patton, a Senior Compensation Consultant with TASB, presented the proposals to the board during a workshop.
Patton said the district has not had a review of its salary structure since 2003, and the proposed review will include position evaluations and classification, a comprehensive market analysis and create a proposed salary schedule for all district employees.
The second study will evaluate staffing levels in the district, using data provided by administration and independent interviews with employees.
Patton stressed that the purpose of both studies is to evaluate positions, not job performance by individuals.
"Your employees may get a little anxious," Patton said. "(But) we're not after anybody. We don't have any connections in this community. We don't have a dog in the hunt."
On Monday, Obregon said he believes the reviews will provide valuable information.
"They're reputable, good quality reports that a good organization can do. It gives you a third eye on the situation," Obregon said. "I welcome studies like that, because it gives us a clear blueprint for direction."
The estimated cost of the reviews is $40,000.
In other business, the board selected Haeber Roofing Company to perform repair work on several rooftops in the district. The project, which is estimated to cost $587,515, will include part of Hattie Martin Elementary School, a wing of Robstown High School, the Robstown High School old and new gymnasiums, the Robstown High School band hall, the old Seale Junior High and Ortiz Middle School.
Obregon said the project will be paid out of a building fund set aside in the district's regular budget for such repairs.
Work could begin within the next two weeks, Obregon said.