The East Allen County Schools board Tuesday approved a stipend for some district employees, not including teachers, in place of a raise.
Part-time employees will receive $300 and full-time employees will receive $500 for a one-year stipend. The item was brought for a board vote from recent executive sessions. The board approved the stipend in a 6-1 vote. Terry Jo Lightfoot abstained.
Teachers are not included because their union contract is in place until 2016. Making changes to the contract like giving a raise or stipend would make other areas void, board President Janice Witte said.
The district negotiated and received approval for a contract with its teachers union before legislative changes, including limitations to bargaining rights, were put in place.
Board member Stephen Terry said the board collectively agreed to the move to communicate that it appreciates the efforts of all employees, despite not being in a financial position to offer raises.
Three school board members also bid farewell.
Alyssa Lewandowski and Janice Witte did not run for re-election in November. Sixteen-year incumbent Rick Allgeier lost his re-election bid to newcomer Arden Hoffman. All three received a plaque and kind words from fellow board members and Superintendent Karyle Green.
All three also took the opportunity to thank fellow board members and the administration. Allgeier and Lewandowski also offered advice to incoming board members. Allgeier, who Green said has been one of the longest-serving board members in the districts history, said he hopes new board members focus on positive communication and reinstituting prayer before board meetings.
This job is not as easy as it looks, Lewandowski said.