Full-time DPS teachers, staff will get retention bonuses

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Durham Public School voted to distribute $ 1,000 retention bonuses to full-time and permanent part-time staff, but they will see less than that amount after tax. Here, the Durham School Board building is in this photo.

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

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

Vice-chairman Mike Lee told administration the district should make sure workers get as close as possible to $ 1,000 take-out.

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

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

In March 2021, Congress passed the US bailout, which includes approximately $ 3.6 billion in elementary and high school emergency assistance (ESSER III) funds for North Carolina. The retention bonuses will be financed by the federal ESSER aid.

Approximately 4,900 full-time and permanent part-time DPS employees will receive a bonus out of the 5,500 employees in the public school system.

The News & Observer could not find out on Friday how many teachers the district lost during the pandemic.

Statewide figures have yet to be released. But Blair Rhoades, spokesperson for the Department of Education, told CBS 17 in August that “current data shows us that there do not appear to be any abnormally high vacancies statewide.”

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This story was originally published October 16, 2021 6:00 a.m.

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