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      School employees get $800 stipend for Christmas

      An extra $800 bucks just in time for Christmas.

      Veliza Reyes is among the 4,700 employees in the Edinburg CISD who just got a stipend, courtesy of tax payers.

      "The stipend is a nice little gift at a really good time," said Reyes.

      The school board proposed the use of $3.7 million dollars of district money which voters approved in September.

      It comes after recent years of the state leaving schools hanging.

      Superintendent Dr. Rene Gutierrez says two years ago, the staff didn't get a raise.

      Last year they did but he says it wasn't enough.

      "For the last couple of years we have been hit very hard by budget cuts from the state and so there's been a lot of sacrifices for our school district. We cant thank our teachers and our staff enough," said Gutierrez.

      Reyes has been the board secretary for two years and says she's not alone in feeling like the extra dough is a big pat on the back."It's a good feeling. It gives you peace of mind. It feels good to know that you have job security and you work for a very good district that is sound," said Reyes.

      She says knowing she's appreciated will motivate her to work that much harder, with all the credit going to tax payers.

      ECISD avoided laying off employees during the recent state budget cuts, something other districts can't say the same about.