School districts in several states are offering some holiday cheer to teachers in the form of bonus checks of up to $1,500.
The school board approved the idea in May to help provide relief to many teachers who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic. District-level administrators do not quality.
In Anne Arundel County Public Schools, in Maryland, a $1,000 bonus check will start going out no later than Dec. 16.
“No school system can be great without great people,” Anne Arundel County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mark Bedell wrote in a letter to employees, announcing the bonus. “As I have said before, the work you are doing in the face of some stiff challenges is incredible. No matter your role in our school system, our students benefit every day from your dedication and passion. Please don’t ever forget that.”
The bonus money will be paid from savings accrued through vacancies across the school system. It will not require the county to ask for any additional funding. Ann Arundel County Public Schools is among the largest in the state.
“I fully realize that the bonus is a small gesture of appreciation,” Dr. Bedell stated. “However, it is critically important to me and to the Board of Education that we continue to find ways to simply say ‘Thank You.’ ”
Meanwhile, at the Texarkana Independent School District (TISD) in Texas, teachers have already received $1,000 in stimulus checks from the district as early as Nov. 18.
The Texarkana ISD Board of Trustees approved using $600,000 in federal stimulus funding to provide teacher retention bonuses. The federal ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) Fund allows these funds to aid schools in supporting teacher retention. The 2022-2023 TISD Compensation Plan included a $1,000 ESSER Teacher Retention bonus for this school year.
“We are so pleased that these available funds allow us to recognize our outstanding teachers who are making a difference in the lives of our students every day,” said Dr. Doug Brubaker, Superintendent of Schools.
A similar holiday bonus in the amount of $750 was also reportedly approved for some City Schools employees in Cleveland, Ohio.