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FUESD approves bonuses, to reduce other expenses

The governing board of the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District (FUESD) unanimously agreed to approve a one-time, off-schedule salary bonus that had been previously agreed upon by the Fallbrook Elementary Teachers’ Association (FETA) at a general meeting on December 15.

A tentative agreement concerning the salary bonus was made between FUESD and FETA representatives on November 20. It provided teachers with a bonus equal to two percent of each employee’s annual salary for the 2008-2009 academic year.

According to FUESD Assistant Superintendent Jim Whitlock, the funds for the salary increase were made possible by increased student enrollment for the 2008-2009 academic year and several internal budget adjustments.

“We’re looking carefully at how we have been distributing funds,” said Whitlock. “We are looking at areas in which we can reduce expenditures in order to revise our budget and make the adjustments.”

The 2008-2009 budget needed to be revised either way, said Whitlock, in order to absorb the surplus brought in by the influx of students for the year.

Whitlock said there is not a specific amount of funds used from the district’s general fund in order to pay for the increase, but says that it simply meant “looking at where there was a surplus.”

“In some places we were buying more supplies than were needed,” he explained.

The agreement also provides for a percentage salary schedule increase effective July 1 which is equal to the percentage of any funded increase in the Revenue Limit income given to the district by the state.

In FUESD standard practice, management and classified employees also reached a tentative agreement which would mirror the FETA increase, which is scheduled to be ratified in January.

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