California schools using COVID relief money for teacher bonuses, encouraging trips to Hawaii, memos show

Newsom has said about 9,000 of the state’s roughly 11,000 schools have either reopened or have a “firm date” to reopen.

Multiple California school districts are using state and federal COVID relief money to hand out bonuses for teachers and staff, with one district even suggesting the money be used for a trip to Hawaii.

The internal memos have been shared online by “Reopen California Schools,” a Facebook group started early on in the pandemic by Jonathan Zachreson.

Clovis Unified School District, located in Fresno County, reportedly discussed using federal and state relief funds to give employees a “one-time payment to employees … given the extraordinary effort required of every employee over the course of the pandemic.”


Zachreson told Fox News that a person involved in the negotiations told him that the district has discussed employee bonuses as high as $6,000 per employee – rather than on students.

Dublin Unified School District, located in the Bay Area, has proposed paying its teachers a one-time $2,500 bonus with state and federal aide to be used for, among other things, “an airplane trip to Hawaii” when the pandemic is over, according to an internal memo obtained by Reopen California Schools.

In the memo, shared with Fox News, the district said the $2,500 bonus was intended to cover costs like technology for distance learning, and childcare, but also suggested a possible “airplane trip to Hawaii when this is all over.”

Another California school district, San Juan Unified, proposed paying teachers one-time off-schedule 1% bonuses (based on their 2020-2021 salaries) with state and federal COVID relief money – on top of a $500 stipend.

%d bloggers like this: