Argyle school board members have unanimously agreed to return hourly employees to their regular rates beginning May 18.
Hourly clerical, payroll, student nutrition, maintenance and technology employees have been receiving 1.5 times their normal wages while working during the pandemic.
May 18 is also the next milestone in Gov. Greg Abbott’s phased reopening of Texas businesses. Gyms, manufacturers and nonessential office spaces will be able to legally open up at 25% capacity that day.
“We are very quickly approaching a time that we will be able to have the buildings safely open at a percentage of the capacity,” Argyle ISD Superintendent Telena Wright said Tuesday.
Board members first put the premium pay model in place on March 25.
Wright submitted the following explanation to board members: “There is no longer a need for premium pay as employees will be able to occupy buildings safely within state guidelines.”
Argyle ISD’s school year will end May 21.
Board members unanimously approved the issue toward the end of their regular meeting Monday, which was held remotely so as to conform with social distancing guidelines.
Also on board members’ Monday to-do list were several construction updates and spending proposals.
Officials continue to shape plans for the district’s third elementary school, a process that is expected to continue until construction begins in January. The currently unnamed elementary is meant to be finished on April 29, 2022.
Members approved the allocation of roughly $1.8 million toward HVAC and lighting upgrades. According to a proposal submitted to the board, the investment would save the district more than $205,860. If that estimate proves true, the expense would pay off within nine years.
The district also received a $49,530 grant from the Texas Education Agency that will help with campus security. Following board approval, bullet-resistant films and additional fencing will be installed at campuses. After the grant is exhausted, the plans would cost the district a projected $2,209.