The Barrow County Board of Education probably will approve a 1.5 percent bonus for all employees at its Tuesday meeting.

The bonus will cost $1.3 million in the Barrow County School System’s general fund and $114,000 in other funds, such as school food nutrition.

Jennifer Houston, assistant superintendent for business services, told the board the budget probably includes enough money to pay for the bonus.

She said budgeting for teacher replacements each year is difficult and she does it conservatively — meaning the budget includes more money than is likely to be spent.

She said she believes the school system has saved enough money in hiring people to fill retiree or terminated positions. Board members had asked in the spring and early summer about providing more money to employees.

Lynn Stevens, board vice chair, said after some discussion and during a lull in conversation, “Is this the best we can do?”

Superintendent Chris McMichael repeated his mantra, “Our folks work hard and they deserve everything they get.”

If the average teacher salary is $50,000, the bonus would be $750.

Houston said if it is approved, the employees would get a check Jan. 11. The conditions include that the bonus is paid only on the base state teacher salary, it applies only to permanent employees and employees must be on the payroll Jan. 11 to qualify.

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