The Hays CISD board of trustees voted unanimously during an April 27 meeting to pay each district employee a $250 perseverance incentive for their work during the pandemic.
The total cost of the incentive payments is $825,000 and is intended to increase staff retention. Checks will begin to be delivered in May.
"We just wanted to thank our employees for all their hard work this year, and every year that they have done, we know they've taken extra duties on and they've had to deal with being more flexible than ever," board President Esperanza Orosco said during the meeting.
An incentive payment was brought up earlier this year, but for budgetary reasons Superintendent Eric Wright suggested the board wait until it found out if the district's hold harmless agreement would be maintained with the state, which impacts funding due to decreased attendance during the pandemic.
"Once we were notified by the state that we have the possibility of hold harmless for the second semester, then I felt more comfortable about doing so," Wright said during an April 19 board workshop.
District 3 trustee Michael Sánchez previously expressed concerns about the legality of providing the business during the school year during workshop.
Wright pointed out the incentive is not creditable toward Teacher Retirement System contributions, but was still permissible. He also noted a 1% pay increase was approved by the board during the last September.