Why Durham Public Schools will give teachers and other full-timers $1,000 bonuses

·2 min read

The Durham Public Schools will fine tune plans for a retention bonus to give all full-time employees as close to $1,000, after taxes, as possible.

The school board voted unanimously to give teachers and other full-time staff the bonus by Thanksgiving to show appreciation to those who have remained with the district during the COVID-19 pandemic. The money comes from federal COVID relief funding.

Board Vice-chair Mike Lee told the administration that the district should make sure workers get as close to $1,000 take-home as possible.

“We all we know that when we receive money, the amount that we get is not going to be the full amount that is promised,” Lee said. “But what I wanted to know is if there is a way that we can calculate what the taxes would be so that we can ensure that the $1,000 is hitting their bank accounts.”

“People feel $1,000 more than $700,” Lee explained. “I just want to make we are serious about this because that could make a really big difference right before the holidays.:

In March 2021, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan, which includes an estimated $3.6 billion in Elementary and Secondary Schools School Emergency Relief funds (ESSER III) for North Carolina. The retention bonuses will be funded through the federal ESSER aid.

Roughly 4,900 full-time and permanent part-time DPS employees will receive bonus out of the public school system’s 5,500 employees.

The News & Observer was unable to find out Friday how many teachers the district has lost during the pandemic.

The statewide numbers have not yet been made available. But Blair Rhoades, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Instruction, told CBS 17 in August that the “current data shows us there doesn’t appear to be abnormally high vacancies across the state.”

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