The Henderson school board approved a proposal Tuesday night to fund a perfect attendance incentive and a bonus for most district employees. The programs are expected to cost around $800,000.

The programs were originally presented and unanimously approved at the board Aug. 28 meeting. 

At that meeting, Superintendent Dr. Thurston Lamb told the board he wanted to improve the attendance rates as well as give a staff bonus in January. The incentive program will reward any full time employee who has perfect attendance during a single semester with a $1,000 bonus. Lamb said he expected that half of the employees would earn the incentive and would cost around $500,000. Lamb also said he wanted to pay a $500 bonus in January to district staff. It was expected to cost around $250,000.

Board Chairman Jamey Holmes said the discussion Tuesday evening on the budget amendment, which is required to fund the programs, was brief and concerned the total cost of the programs such as taxes and insurance payments required on the additional income. The extra costs reportedly account for the higher $800,000 amount presented in the budget amendment.

In the end, the board approved the amendment on a split vote of with Trustee Jean Williams opposing the measure and Trustee Jon Best abstaining.

When asked after the meeting about her opposition, William simply said, “No comment.” Best explained his abstentain saying he had missed the Aug. 28 meeting and, “since I wasn’t here for the full discussion, I felt I really couldn’t make a decision on it.” 

The board also approved an order to cancel two of the three upcoming trustee elections. Terms for seats in District 1, District 2 and District 5 all expire this year. Williams in District 1 and Harold Sentmore in District 2 are running unopposed which allows the district to cancel those elections simply declare the two incumbents winners following the election date. 

District 5 Trustee Jon Best will run against, Adam Duey in the election on Nov. 5. District 5 runs generally south and southeast of the city of Henderson.

In other business, the board:

Approved the minutes of the Aug. 13 and Aug. 28 meetings.

Adopted a voting system for the upcoming election.

Approved a transportation resolution allowing the district to bus students who live closer than two miles from their campus.

Approval a policy update recommended by the Texas Association of School Boards.

Heard an update on the final accountability rating for the district in which the district as a whole was rated an “A.”

Heard a report on several campus projects that the maintenance department is either working on or has identified as needed or wanted to complete in the future.

Held a brief closed-door session to consider the resignation of a teacher who is retiring from the districts. They accepted the resignation after returning to open session.

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