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District to offer perfect attendance incentive

Profile image for By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer
By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer

ARGYLE — The Argyle school district will look to reward full-time employees for perfect attendance.

At a meeting Tuesday, the school board voted 6-0 in favor of an attendance incentive program in which full-time employees with perfect attendance during a nine-week grading period are rewarded with $100. Eligible employees can receive $100 for each of the nine-week grading periods they have perfect attendance and an additional $100 for perfect attendance the entire school year.

According to district documents, the program will take effect this school year for its 225 full-time employees, who will receive the incentive in their July 2014 paychecks.

“I think it’s an incentive for people to be here every day. It’s also a reward for people who are,” Superintendent Telena Wright said.

The incentive program was recommended by the district’s Rewards and Recognitions Committee, which was formed last year. District officials estimate the attendance incentive program will cost about $25,000 annually.

Board President Kevin Faciane said the goal of the Rewards and Recognitions Committee is to recognize best practices within Argyle schools and among staff. Several members of the teaching staff have had perfect attendance, and that’s something the committee wanted to reward, he said.

“We’re going to measure it for a year and see if it has the anticipated impact,” Faciane said. “Ultimately, it’s going to improve the teaching process in the classroom by making sure the teacher [is] there and not substitutes. It should translate into higher test scores.

“Secondly, it should reduce the amount the district is spending for substitute teachers.”

In June, the board voted unanimously to increase and convert the district substitute pay rate to a tiered rate system based on whether a substitute has a degree or teacher certification.

Currently, the district pays $65 daily for substitutes without degrees, $70 for substitutes with degrees and $75 for substitutes who are Texas certified teachers. Substitutes without a degree serving long term will receive $80 after 10 consecutive days in the same position. Long-term substitutes with degrees will receive $85 a day, and long-term substitutes with a teacher’s certification will receive $90 a day.

District officials in June said the impact the rate increase would have on the budget depends on the number of substitutes used. Officials at the time estimated the rate increase would cost about $25,000.

Wright said $185,000 has been designated in the budget for substitutes — the rate increase included.

According to district officials, the attendance incentive program will be “re-evaluated and reapproved“ annually.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.