Tags: Coronavirus | california | schools | covid 19 | relief | funds

Report: California Schools Discussed Paying Teacher Bonuses With COVID-19 Relief Funds

empty school hallway
Empty Hollywood High hallway on September 08, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 March 2021 12:48 PM

Multiple public schools and teachers’ unions in California at one point discussed using some of the federal and state funding for COVID-19 relief to provide teachers with bonuses, according to The Daily Mail.

The group Reopen California Schools shared memos with the Daily Mail that appear to show discussions on how to use the relief money, including suggestions to use it to provide bonuses for educators.

"I've been inundated with reports of school districts spending state and federal COVID relief money on substantial one-time bonuses to teachers and administrators instead of spending them on getting kids back in classrooms or to curb learning loss," the group tweeted.

"WOW! [Clovis Unified School District], a CA school district is proposing a $6,000 bonus per employee with state and federal aid money!" they added, quoting one memo as saying, "Because of the influx of one-time dollars from the state and federal government... [we were asked to] work on a possible one-time, off-schedule payment to employees."

A spokesperson for Clovis Unified School District told Fox News that "We have a committee of people who are meeting to brainstorm lots of needs and priorities for use of newly approved federal and state funds, but no decisions have been made, especially not one to give employees $6,000 dollars each."

Reopen California Schools added later that, "The $6K proposed teacher and staff bonus to be voted by the board this Wed. It was shared with us by someone part of the negotiations. This person is outraged they are offering $6K in bonuses, money which is supposed to go towards programs for students."

In another tweet, the group claims that, "CA school district [Dublin Unified School District] is paying its teachers $2,500 bonuses with state and federal aide [sic] money, even suggesting staff could use the money for a trip to Hawaii (see c. and d.) This comes despite the sad hybrid plan approved before any aid bills were passed."

A spokesperson for the district added, "The Dublin Unified School District has never offered its teachers a $2,500 bonus to be taken from COVID relief funds or any other funds to return to school and the Dublin Unified School District has never offered or suggested a trip to Hawaii for any of its teachers. And the document that is claimed to have come from the Dublin Unified District is not in fact a document from the Dublin Unified School District." 

The Dublin Teachers Association, which represents the educators in the district where the "Hawaii" comment originated, told Fox News that the suggestion of a vacation was "simply a playful comment on an internal communication to DTA members, not connected to the costs of members returning to on-site work."

The union said in a statement: "DTA members welcome a real partnership with our community to prioritize our students, their safety, their learning and their complete well-being. Diversions, such as this one for political gain, hurt our students and our community." 

DTA President Roberta Kreitz added in a statement, "The comment … was taken out of context for someone’s political agenda. That twisting of truth does nothing to promote safe and healthy schools for our students and is simply a diversion from what matters."

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Multiple public schools and teachers' unions in California at one point discussed using some of the federal and state funding for COVID-19 relief to provide teachers with bonuses, according to The Daily Mail...
california, schools, covid 19, relief, funds
Wednesday, 17 March 2021 12:48 PM
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