PC schools hand out bonuses

The Phenix City School System spent about $65,000 on employee bonuses for perfect attendance during the last semester of classes.

From the beginning of classes in August to the last day before winter break in December, 260 employees had perfect attendance and received a $250 bonus, said chief financial officer Suzy Ruth.

Ruth said 145 of those employees were teachers or principals.

The school system instituted the bonus program in August 2007 in hopes that it would cut down on the number of teacher absences in the system and the costs of employing substitutes, as well as improve academics.

The system is allocated money per teacher unit every year to pay for substitutes, but it is not enough to make up for all of the costs. Last year, the system spent about $325,000 on substitutes, but was only reimbursed about $98,000.

Money for teacher bonuses comes out of state allocation for substitutes. Ruth said they were still calculating the costs of the program versus the costs of hiring substitutes to determine if the system saved money.