The State Board of Education recently approved Gov. Brian Kemp’s and State School Superintendent Richard Woods’ recommendation that Georgia use federal stimulus funds to provide a one-time, $1,000 bonus payment to every K-12 public school teacher and other school-based support personnel. A separate bonus for Pre-K educators is being provided by the Department of Early Care and Learning.
Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) announced today, April 1, that it plans to provide the bonus to teachers and as well as a one-time bonus to all full-time and part-time staff who did not qualify under the state requirements. RCPS will use its CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) II federal funds to pay the bonus. District officials say the bonus is being provided to support stronger recruitment and retention of these critical positions and as a gesture of gratitude for their work and sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
RCPS Superintendent Terry Oatts praised Kemp and Woods for their support.
Said Oatts: “I commend both Governor Kemp and State Superintendent Richard Woods on their support for this bonus payment. While this bonus includes a wide array of school and district employees, like prior instances in which the state provides some funding for salary increases, not all employees are explicitly included in this bonus, and there are some guidelines we must follow such as adjusting the bonus payment amount for specific employees who work less than full-time. As Superintendent, I have always been committed to ensuring to the fullest extent possible that our RCPS employees are treated equitably. As such, I have directed our Financial Services Department to extend the $1,000 bonus payment to all full-time RCPS employees and a partial bonus payment to each of our less than full-time employees.
“These steps I have directed take into account the tremendous commitment and dedication our employees have demonstrated during this unprecedented public health crisis. From providing sustained and engaging virtual learning to now dutifully navigating a challenging blended teaching and learning environment of both virtual and hybrid in-person students, they have remained committed to pursuing world-class results for our students.”
The bonus will be paid in April. The cost to the district is approximately $500,000 using federal CARES II funding. The 2020-2021 operating budget will not be affected by this one-time bonus, RCPS officials said.