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School District Five Board approves budget amendment to include bonuses for staff, accelerate facilities improvements

The Lexington-Richland School District Five Board of Trustees approved a budget amendment during its Jan. 27 meeting, adding a loyalty bonus for staff and funds to “accelerate” capital projects around the district.

 

The amendment of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-2020 General Fund Budget includes approximately $1.5 million to provide a one-time $500 loyalty bonus for all permanent district employees. It also included the transfer of approximately $2.7 million to the district’s Building Fund “to be used to accelerate the implementation of capital projects, improving (the district’s) buildings.”

 

“Our superintendent and the administration recommended changes to the budget to utilize reserve funds, also known as the district’s fund balance, which exceeded the required 18 percent of the district’s general fund budgeted expenditure by $4,278,943,” said Len Richardson, School District Five Chief Finance and Operations Officer. “We appreciate the Board’s approval and will move quickly to use these funds to reward our staff, promote retention and address some building needs around the district.”

 

Per School Board Policy DFAB, the district's general fund balance “provides operating continuity during the months when minimal taxes are collected and liquidity in other unanticipated events that result in negative cash flow.” This average “generally ranges from 15 percent to 18 percent of the general fund budgeted expenditures,” the policy reads.

 

“We certainly need to keep a fund balance within our range of 15 to 18 percent, but I think we are in a unique position now this year to be able to utilize the amount over and above that policy requirement,” said Board Secretary Michael Cates, who made the motion for the amendment. “It’s prudent to invest in our number one asset—our staff, faculty and employees in District Five—and also the capital needs within our district.”

 

This is the third time since 2016 that School District Five has offered loyalty bonuses to permanent employees. District administrators said employees will receive loyalty bonuses the week of April 6.