Teachers at the Eastern Pulaski School Corporation received a nice surprise recently, as the school board this week approved a stipend payment thanks to an unexpected increase in student enrollment. Superintendent Dan Foster said the influx was a nice surprise, especially since the corporation has seen very few raises over the last few years.
Foster said this increase in students brought with it an increase in funds, and they decided to give it back to the teachers.
“We went with a stipend for a couple reasons; number one, when you do a stipend, it’s not something that’s added to a budget every year. So this year we were pleasantly surprised with a little influx of students which does translate into a few more dollars, so a one-time payment kind of made sense as far as that goes,” Foster said.
Foster said things at the corporation have been tight and this was their way of saying thanks for the hard work teachers have done for the corporation.
He said the board decided to go with a stipend to prevent any contractual issues.
“Additionally, with the teacher’s contract, they were under the older contract and that’s not up until this summer, so if we had opened that up to try to negotiate some kind of increase or anything for them, then that whole contract would be open and we would be under the new laws and regulations that were passed a few years ago, so we decided that a one-time payment right now would be the best thing to do as the funds allowed us to do,” said Foster.