Schools Are Turning Stimulus Funds Into Teacher Bonuses

Schools Are Turning Stimulus Funds Into Teacher Bonuses

by Yoree Koh

Dozens of school districts and states are spending big chunks of their historic federal stimulus cash on one-time bonuses to teachers and staff, over the objections of some parents and others who claim such payments violate the intent of the federal funding.

Districts in Tennessee, Texas, California and Colorado and states such as Georgia have approved four-figure “thank you” bonuses in what they say is an attempt to stave off teacher resignations and to boost staff morale after an unprecedented year that required adapting to virtual teaching, then swinging back to in-person instruction.

Georgia was the first state to act, signing off on $1,000 statewide bonuses to 230,000 school-level employees, covering nearly every teacher and staff member, including aides, custodians, bus drivers and cafeteria workers. The move cost $230.5 million, or about 35% of the state’s $660.6 million federal coronavirus stimulus money, and was one of the state’s biggest expenditures from its allotment of the stimulus funds.

From Wall St. Journal

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