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PayPlus funds not equally distributed, says BOE employee

Teachers and support personnel at most schools in Butler County received thousand-dollar bonus checks in early August from the school district’s PayPlus incentive program.

But at least one central office employee was disappointed in what she saw as a disparity between the money received by central office staff and that received by faculty working in the schools.

Addressing the Board of Education on Thursday night, Dr. Kathy Murphy said that of the over $1 million disbursed, central office staff received “only a token appreciation.” Murphy said while teachers, aides, and custodians were collecting checks ranging from $1,000 to $2,800, central office personnel received $300 as part of PayPlus.

“Please understand that I applaud the teachers and I am tickled to death for their accomplishments and they certainly deserve that money,” said Murphy. “However, I feel that a group of folks were left out. I hope you know that the staff at the central office works extremely hard.”

Murphy said some custodians working in schools received checks over $700. By comparison, she said, a custodian in the central office received a check for $150.

Superintendent Mike Looney said while he respected Murphy’s position and, in hindsight, the program particulars should have included central office personnel, he didn’t feel any additional compensation would be forthcoming.

“The truth is our central office staff are extremely hard working individuals,” said Looney. “And I probably agree with Kathy’s argument. But I don’t think it’s best to go back and change it. The funds for PayPlus were set aside to award teachers who help raise student achievement.”

Two years ago Butler County was awarded over $2 million from the state to implement an incentive program designed to award teachers for helping schools achieve Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), enhance school culture, and establish after-school and extracurricular activities for students. Money for the program has run out and will likely not be offered to teachers next year unless grant funding can be found.