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Fargo School Board approves $1,500 employee retention bonuses

Eligible employees will receive two payments of $750, one in December and another in May.

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The Fargo Public Schools main offices in south Fargo.
David Olson/The Forum.
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FARGO — The Fargo School Board voted Tuesday night, Sept. 27, to provide $1,500 retention bonuses for eligible employees.

The plan applies to certified staff and teachers, classified hourly support staff, professional support staff and administrators.

Eligible employees are defined as staff that have regular and permanent work schedules.

Employees who are eligible will receive two payments of $750, one in December and another in May.

The bonuses were suggested in a memo the school board received from the district's planning committee, which stated, in part: "Since the onset of the pandemic, Fargo Public Schools' employees have gone above and beyond to support our students, learning and the community.

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"We ask a lot from our employees in a normal year, and the past years have been extremely difficult on everyone," added the memo, which noted money for the bonuses would come from federal funding under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.

The cost of the benefits will amount to about $3.5 million in salary and related benefits, according to the memo.

Temporary/non-permanent staff, such as daily teacher and para-educator substitutes, coaches and other staff who do not have a permanent and regular work schedule will not be eligible for the bonuses.

However, long-term teacher and para-educator substitutes are eligible if at the time of the scheduled payments they are on a long-term assignment.

Board member Jim Johnson, who is also chairman of the district's planning committee, said at Tuesday's meeting that in addition to rewarding district employees for their dedication, the bonuses are a reflection of the area's labor shortage and the fact other employers would be happy to "poach" workers from the school district.

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

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