Allen ISD approves $2 million in one-time payments to staff

money

Allen Independent School District, known for its shiny, new $60 million football stadium, has a split school board over $2 million in lump-sum raises to district teachers and staff.

The recent 4-3 board vote authorized the one-time payments in November, ranging from $375 to $1,000. The payments are aimed at keeping district pay competitive with that of its neighbors, the Allen American reports.

Trustee Mark Jones contended the raises are fiscally irresponsible after asking taxpayers to dig deeper for Allen ISD last November.

"Our greatest charge is to ensure the future financial viability of this school district,” he said. “I don't think we can do that by offering a $2 million bonus when we just got finished asking our taxpayers to pony up 13 cents extra just last year.”

Supporters see the move as the district keeping its promise to employees at a time of state budget cuts that have hurt Allen ISD. They argued it is the best conservative option given the district’s circumstances.

The district of about 19,000 students in Collin County, north of Dallas, has gained national attention for its $60 million football stadium, which opened in August. There’s also been controversy over the location and about $40 million in construction costs for a new bus service center, CultureMap Dallas recently reported.

***
Contact Curt Olson at curt@texaswatchdog.org or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Scribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feeds in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, and tumblr.

Photo of money by flickr user 401 (K) 2012, used via a Creative Commons license.