Union BOE approves teacher and employee stimulus bonus

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BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – In a called meeting, Union County Board of Education approved the employee retention stipend/bonus issued by Governor Brian Kemp earlier in the year.

Superintendent John Hill stated, “I want to request the board approve Governor Kemp’s employee retention stipend for all of our employees at $1,000, and Mrs. Bundy I request if the board approved this to be able to send our teachers a check before Spring Break.”

The following amounts were approved for all active employees:

Full-time employees as of December 31, 2020, will receive $1,000, and “49 percenters” as of December 31 will receive $500. Full-time employees after January 1, 2021, will receive $500, and “49 percenters” after January 1 will receive $250.

State board of education did stipulate that full-time employees receive $1,000 and part-time half that amount.

The bonus is being provided to teachers and education support staff to support stronger recruitment and retention of these critical positions as a gesture of gratitude for their work and sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kemp and Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods announced COVID-19 relief funds would go toward teachers and other school employees in January 2021. It was a one-time $1,000 bonus, and the state used $240 million in federal COVID-19 funds and $180 million from Georgia Department of Education withheld CARES Act funds.

However, the state board of education had to approve the use of the funds too. They did so in March with the stipulation that the money must be spent by June 30, 2021.

State officials added preschool teachers, state employees, and public university employees as recipients of the $1,000 bonuses.

“These bonuses are intended to thank all public-school employees – from the teacher who found new ways to reach a classroom of students, to the bus driver who kept those students safe on the way to school,” Superintendent Woods said. “We want to ensure these hard-working employees are recognized for their above-and-beyond efforts and we want them to stay in public education for the benefit of the students they serve.”

The payments are intended for all teachers and education support personnel in Georgia’s K-12 public schools, including – but not limited to – teachers, paraprofessionals, school counselors, school psychologists, school nurses, custodians, bus drivers, school nutrition staff, media specialists, clerical staff and administrative assistants, school principals, assistant principals, instructional coaches, therapists, and long-term substitutes. A separate bonus for Pre-K educators is being provided by the Department of Early Care and Learning.

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