$1,500 Bonus Check For Teachers Arriving Next Month

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Some teachers in Arkansas could soon get a one-time bonus check of $1,500. This one-time bonus check for teachers is specifically for teachers in the Fort Smith School District. Eligible teachers are likely to get the money before Christmas.

Bonus Check For Teachers: Who Will Get It?

In May, the school board approved the one-time bonus check for teachers in the Fort Smith Public School District (FSPS). The FSPS includes around 26 schools with 1,033 teachers. The objective of the bonus checks is to offer relief to veteran teachers, who worked hard at the time of the coronavirus pandemic.

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At the time of the pandemic, teachers went out of their way to ensure students stayed connected with their studies. It was a whole new experience for teachers as they had to manage so many students in a single video call on school days. Teachers not only had to adapt to remote teaching but also had to work hard to come up with new ways to keep students engaged.

Thus, this one-time bonus check for teachers is a token of appreciation for the hard work they put in at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. These bonus checks will be funded from the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief budget. The bonus checks are expected to be delivered by December 15.

The bonus checks will go to certain teachers in the school system, including classroom teachers, adult education teachers, special education coordinators, instructional specialists, and interventionists. Further, principals and assistant principals also qualify for the bonus payment but not the district-level administrators.

The bonus checks for teachers follow the approval of a new salary schedule, which includes an annual salary raise. This new salary schedule increases the base pay for teachers by $5,500, i.e. from $38,500 to $44,000 this school year.

It means the average raise for the current school year was $3,471.81, or about 5.89%. Teachers can expect another increase between $800 and $6,300 next year.

Not The First Time

This is not the first time teachers got bonus checks for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, several states rewarded teachers similarly, including California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee and Texas.

Georgia distributed $1,000 bonus payments to about 230,000 K-12 public school teachers and staff in March of last year. Florida offered money to principals and teachers but excluded other staff members. In February 2021, Michigan distributed $500 as a bonus to teachers and $250 to other staffers as part of the MI Classroom Heroes Grants proposal.

Similarly, the Berkeley Unified School District used around $2.8 million to give teachers a 3.5% bonus. In Colorado, Tennessee and Texas, teachers got $1,000 in the form of bonus checks.