Richland One to help district employees deal with high gas prices

March 23, 2022

High gas prices are hitting everyone hard and Richland One leaders want to help district employees offset the cost of filling their tanks to drive to and from work every day.

At the March 22 board meeting, the Richland One Board of School Commissioners unanimously approved providing $500 fuel payments to full-time district employees and $250 fuel payments to permanent part-time employees, including long-term substitutes.

Employees will receive the one-time net payments on or before April 6.

“We appreciate the hard work, dedication and commitment of all the employees in this district, and we understand that the high cost of gas right now is creating some hardships,” said Board Chairwoman Cheryl Harris. “We hope that providing this money will help ease that financial strain for them.”

The Board approved reallocating a portion of the district’s General Fund Budget fund balance for the 2021 fiscal year to issue the fuel payments to employees as a retention strategy. The estimated cost is $3 million.

Richland One Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon said approximately 40 percent of the district’s employees live outside of the Richland One attendance zone and drive to work from other areas.

“We value our employees and the work they do on behalf of our students, and we want to keep them in Richland One,” said Dr. Witherspoon. “We appreciate the Board’s support of this effort which is part of our overall employee retention initiatives.”

In December 2021, the Board of School Commissioners approved a one-time retention payment of $1,000 for full-time employees and $500 for permanent part-time employees. Employees received half of those net payments in December and they will receive the other half at the end of May.