School district employees gathered Monday night in support of three board members who want board President Yliana Rodriguez to approve a special meeting to discuss incentive payments.
Board members Oscar Medrano, Hector Leal and Anna Cruz want Rodriguez to hold the special meeting Nov. 26 or 27, at which time the board could vote on incentive payments of $1,000 for teachers and administrators and $500 incentives for hourly workers, who have gone without raises for two years. The incentive payments would total $1.2 million.
But Rodriguez said she wants a workshop on Nov. 27 to review the district's finances before the board considers the proposal at a special meeting she has scheduled for Dec. 4.
Medrano and Cruz said they cannot attend that special meeting.
"It's critical we look at the budget to see if it allows us to give incentives," Rodriguez said.
Medrano said he wants a formal meeting before the end of this month, to allow the board to vote on the incentives so school district employees can have the incentives by Christmas.
Rodriguez said a Dec. 4 meeting would still allow time for employees to receive their checks in time for Christmas.
About 20 employees met outside school district offices to support the November meeting.
Payroll clerk Patty Garcia said the board must approve incentives in November so her staff can process checks before Christmas.
"Any little amount really does help," Marisela Pedraza, a third grade teacher, said. "Everything's going up; everybody's struggling. It seems like every other district has given some bonus."
Monday was the second time Medrano and Leal asked Rodriguez to schedule a November meeting to consider the proposed incentives.
Medrano has questioned whether two board members can call special meetings.
School attorney Juan Cabrera, who was hired in May, interprets the policy to allow the board president to set meeting dates, Medrano said.
Ruben Franco, the district's planner-evaluator, said the Texas Association of School Boards confirmed Cabrera's opinion.
But Franco said it's the first time he can remember that a board president did not honor two board members' request for a meeting's date.
The $1.2 million incentives would come from a $7.5 million windfall that boosts the district's cash reserve fund to $16.9 million, Superintendent Antonio Limon said.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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