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SPS staff to receive spring bonuses

Suffolk Public Schools staff will receive a second round of bonuses following unanimous School Board approval.

The bonuses, approved by the board at its April 15 meeting at King’s Fork Middle School, will range from $300 for certain part-time staff to $1,000 for those working full time and will be paid to those who have been actively employed from at least Feb. 1 and are still employed as of May 1.

The $300 bonus will go to part-time adult-education teachers who have taught from Jan. 29 through May 1, as well as part-time algebra readiness tutors and part-time English language learner tutors.

The bonus is $500 for part-time safety monitors, part-time nurse assistants and permanent part-time staff.

Full-time staff, as well as long-term substitutes and priority substitutes employed from Jan. 29 through May 1 — will receive a $1,000 bonus.

The only people who will not get a bonus are those staff who have not cleared up their unemployment payments through the Virginia Employment Commission from April 2020 through April 2021.

The money will appear in staff members’ May 15 paycheck.

The school division will spend close to $2.2 million for the bonus, the money for them coming from savings due to being in virtual learning, additional federal money and the state holding school divisions “harmless” for their average daily membership in their revenue calculation.

“It’s all the state revenue — they’re holding us harmless so it’s wonderful that we’re able to do it,” said Chief Financial Officer Wendy Forsman.

The board last fall approved one-time bonuses of $500 for full-time staff and $250 for permanent part-time and long-term substitutes. The first round of bonuses — $1.1 million — came from the more than $3.2 million in reversion funds that City Council reappropriated to Suffolk Public Schools last September. The money came from extra sales tax revenue that had been projected to decline by about $3 million in the final quarter of the 2019-2020 fiscal year, but didn’t.

At that time, Superintendent Dr. John B. Gordon III said that if revenue projections from the state were favorable, it would try to provide a second round of bonuses.