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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- A Utah County school district is doling out $2 million in bonuses to teachers and other employees.
Despite hard times, officials at Alpine School District said they found extra money to give 6,300 employees a bonus worth 1 percent of salary.
The discretionary bonus will be paid this month to every employee except substitute teachers, Superintendent Vern Henshaw said.
It's a reward for employees who have been working harder during a time of austerity and paying more for their health care, she told the Daily Herald of Provo.
Our people have done all this and stayed positive. Morale has remained high. We have stayed focused on student achievement and have just dug in.
"The last couple of years especially where there have been budget reductions when it comes to funding, our employees have just had to do more with less," Henshaw said. "Our people have done all this and stayed positive. Morale has remained high. We have stayed focused on student achievement and have just dug in."
Henshaw and school board members notified district employees that a recent budget analysis found cash flow was "better than expected," thanks to general belt tightening.
"It is with appreciation for your work that we provide this letter announcing a one-time salary payment 'employee distribution' that will be paid on the November payroll and equal 1 percent of base compensation," the district leaders wrote. "We look forward to the future, confident in our collective effort and strength in serving our young people and community."
The district didn't promise to keep paying bonuses every year, however, and the fact that it followed an election was coincidental, district spokeswoman Rhonda Bromley told the newspaper.
Financial reports from fiscal year 2010 just became available and spotlighted some "one-time" revenue that couldn't be used for classroom expenses because the funding source isn't recurring, said Bromley.
The district didn't specify the revenue it discovered.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)