FISD issues one-time bonus to employees

A+year-long+lawsuit+against+the+district+was+brought+to+an+end+after+United+States+District+Court+Judge+Amos+L.+Mazzant+concluded+that+Frisco+ISD%E2%80%99s+School+Board+Member+election+systems+are+legal+and+non-discriminatory.%0A

Maddie Owens

A year-long lawsuit against the district was brought to an end after United States District Court Judge Amos L. Mazzant concluded that Frisco ISD’s School Board Member election systems are legal and non-discriminatory.

Aaron Boehmer, Editor-in-Chief

Frisco ISD employees that were employed by the district from March 1 through May 28 are receiving a minimum of a $250 bonus on Wednesday as the district issues a one-time payment as a part of the Coronavirus Appreciation and Recognition of Effort Stipend. 

The CARES resolution was adopted by the school board on June 8 and has two primary points. 

“The purpose of the CARES payment is twofold,” Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Smith said in a memo. “First to provide assistance to employees for the use of personal equipment and supplies while working remotely while FISD facilities were close to mitigate the spread of COVID-19; and second to recognize the efforts of our staff during the COVID-19 response and transition to eLearning.”

The payment is equivalent to 1.5 percent of eligible employee’s base wages, or $250, whichever is the greater amount, and will be a part of the final paycheck of the 2019-2020 contract year. 

“As the largest employer in Frisco with nearly 8,000 employees, we are in a unique position to provide this payment,” Smith said. “We know that our ability to provide the income our employers were expecting for next year is not only appreciated but important for their families’ livelihoods.”

According to Smith, the stipend will not impact the 2020-21 budget, as FISD will make the payment using the extra funds leftover from the end of the 2019-2020 school year, and even expect to end the fiscal year in surplus after having all 72 campuses closed for several months. 

This leaves room for other compensations, as FISD spokeswoman Meghan Cone said that a $250 classroom and teaching supplies stipend for teachers, teacher facilitators, and librarians is included in the district’s financial plan and will be distributed on Sept. 15. 

“There will also be a retention incentive in Jan. 2021 for all employees with at least one year of service to the district,” Cone said. “It will equal one percent of base wages, plus $50 for each year of service, with a minimum of $250 total.”

A $1,000 raise for all employees on the teacher pay scale and a 1.5 percent of midpoint raise for all other staff is a part of the 2020-21 budget as well. 

In addition, the starting teacher salary is also increasing from $54,500 to $54,900, and the district increased the minimum hourly wage for hard-to-fill positions such as bus drivers, custodians, and special education paraprofessionals.

These incentives, compensations, and stipends, especially in regards to the CARES resolution, have been developed as a way to carry out the district’s attempt to enhance employee morale, reimburse them for personal resources used during the closure of Frisco ISD facilities, as well as promote retention.

“Our teachers, administrators, and support staff went above and beyond to ensure that FISD students didn’t miss out on learning opportunities when our campuses closed,” Smith said. “They worked incredibly hard to redesign lesson plans to fit within an asynchronous learning model and facilitate new daily instruction for their students, often while staying at home and working with their own children at the same time.”