Why Did we Give Sioux Falls School District Employees an $800 dollar bonus?

Before everyone calls me a Scrooge, I will say I agree with School Board president Mickelson’s sentiments;

“. . . yet give as much as we can to our staff while they are going through this hard and very difficult time,” Cynthia Mickelson said.

I think if public servants like teachers go the extra mile they deserve a little something more.

But here are my issues with this;

• This is not the private (for profit) sector. The school district is funded by taxpayers. Believe it or not, most, if not all of my friends and family have worked straight thru this pandemic including myself. Many of them have never got a ‘bonus’ including myself for showing up. But the very workers we subsidize with our taxes are handed bonuses for simply showing up and doing their job – just like the rest of us have. I get it, it’s not easy, there are many days I just want to say, ‘Screw it’ this isn’t worth the risk, but I also know we will get thru this, so I soldier on.

• Instead of a bonus, maybe better sick leave and raises would be more appropriate. As I understand it, district employees have a very good sick leave policy.

• Unlike the private sector, school district employees get fantastic benefits, healthcare and PENSIONS! PENSIONS! I know, something that has almost disappeared in the private sector.

• Many school district employees get the entire summer off. Basically they receive 12 months of pay for 9 months of work. I get it, they may work many more hours during that 9 months, but how many of you in the private sector would love to work a few extra hours a week to get 3 months off in the summer? I think I know the answer to that question. Let’s talk about a ‘bonus’!

While I think it is nice gesture to give this bonus, remember, this comes from you and me, not the school board. It is also fair to point out that the more money we give towards wages is less money we are spending on learning materials and capital expenses for EDUCATING STUDENTS!

I think if this community was flush with money, this would be a blip on the radar screen. But while a lot of us in the private sector are struggling, we ask when are we getting our $800 property tax cut?

Why couldn’t this bonus come from the millions of dollars of Federal Corona virus monies instead of handed over to businesses that may or may not trickle it down to their workers?

This bonus was foolish and fiscally irresponsible.

I think a better plan would have been giving the staff that worked through this pandemic full-time a better raise instead of a blanket bonus.

REWARD THE ONES THAT DESERVE IT WITH PERMANENT APPRECIATION IN THEIR PAYCHECKS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR!

I often shake my head when elected officials pat themselves on the back when they are giving our money away. To all the staff that got this bonus, your’e welcome, to the elected officials who got a warm fuzzy feeling for giving my taxes away, you are also welcome.



4 comments ↓

#1 "Very Stable Genius" on 11.10.20 at 8:51 pm

I still want to know why we built the New Technology High School and The Career and Technical Education Academy, when we knew the fourth high school (Jefferson) was eventually coming. Yet, when we needed the fourth high school, we didn’t have enough money for it, so we passed a bond.

( “Say, let’s go on vacation before the water heater blows”… )

#2 D@ily Spin on 11.10.20 at 8:58 pm

There’s another way to look at this. Schools were closed leaving excess budget. Teachers worked extra from home. It’s been a time for teachers to seek other secured employment that pays more. The bonus affords incentive to stay.

#3 l3wis on 11.10.20 at 9:48 pm

You make my point. Be fiscally responsible with our public school funding. Pay teachers good and fund education of kids instead of lining the pockets of contractors.

#4 grudznick on 11.11.20 at 8:59 am

Hear! Hear Mr. E!