The holiday season is fast approaching, but inflation could ruin plans for many. Some people, however, could get a one-time bonus check of up to $1,000 before Christmas. Atlanta Public Schools has decided to send one-time bonus checks to employees just in time for the holidays.
One-Time Bonus Checks To Employees: Who Will Get Them?
On Monday, the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education approved the plan to send one-time bonus checks to employees. Full-time staff will get a direct payment of $1,000, while eligible part-time staff (and hourly and substitute staff) will get $500. The one-time bonus checks will be included in the employees’ December 15 paychecks.
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According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the department will spend a total of $10.9 million from its fund reserves to send the bonus payments. A similar payment was sent during the holiday season last year as well.
This year’s bonus payment comes just six months after the board approved a $974 million budget in June. The budget included pay raises and stipends to hire and retain staff at impoverished schools.
The bonus checks, as well as pay raises and stipends will not only help to retain existing employees but will also serve as a token of appreciation for the work that teachers have done over the past two years.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers had to adapt to remote teaching. They also had to risk their health after they were back in school amid the coronavirus pandemic.
More Money Before Christmas
Several other states, local governments and schools have also acknowledged the work done by teachers since the coronavirus pandemic. Arkansas’ Fort Smith Public School District (FSPS), for instance, approved a one-time bonus check of $1,500 for teachers.
By sending bonus checks, FSPS aims to offer relief to veteran teachers who worked hard at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The FSPS includes around 26 schools with 1,033 teachers. Eligible teachers will get the bonus checks by December 15.
Some Maryland school employees can also expect a bonus check before Christmas. Earlier this week, Superintendent Mark Bedell announced that Anne Arundel County Public Schools employees will get prorated bonuses depending on their full-time equivalency.
All permanent employees will qualify for the bonus money. However, those who were on a leave of absence by December 16 won’t be eligible for the bonus checks.
As well, Anne Arundel County Public Schools won’t be deducting healthcare premiums from workers' pay this month because of the balance in the school district's healthcare fund.
“I fully realize that the bonus is a small gesture of appreciation,” Bedell said in a letter to staff. “However, it is critically important to me and to the Board of Education that we continue to find ways to simply say ‘Thank You.’”
Tennessee’s Department of Human Services is also offering $500 payments to participants in the state's Families First program (FFP). The bonus payment is estimated to help about 24,000 children during the festive season.