Gainesville’s Board of Education approved a one-time $1,500 retention payment to all employees working in the Gainesville City Schools district, as well as those who retired within the 2020-2021 school year.
The decision was made during the Gainesville school board meeting on Monday, April 19. Sammy Smith, board member, abstained from voting without giving an explanation.
Superintendent Jeremy Williams shared that the district’s employees have “done a fantastic job over the last year plus” with educating students, filling the learning gaps and providing emotional support to kids in both virtual and face-to-face environments.
“I’m just very proud,” he said. “ … We really saw everybody step up to whatever is needed.”
Before this proposal went before the board on Monday, Georgia’s state Board of Education approved the plan in March 2021 to give $1,000 bonuses to teachers and most other education employees with the $240 million allotted through federal COVID-19 relief.
Williams said the district decided to increase this amount to $1,500 by using its local CARES 2 funds, which total at $600,000.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.