Cherokee County School Board approves mid-year bonuses for teachers and support staff

The Cherokee County School Board approved mid-year bonuses for teachers and support staff last week and heard plans to increase salaries for the next school year.

Eligible full-time employees will receive a one-time payment of $1,000 and eligible permanent part-time employees will receive $500 for their mid-year bonuses.

Bonuses for the school district’s 5,000 full and part-time employees total $5.7 million.

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According to the district, the bonuses are made possible due to the state legislature fully funding its educational formula, lower-than-expected insurance premiums and strong fiscal stewardship by the school board.

The school district’s office of human resources recently conducted a thorough salary study.


Based on that study, the recommended budget for the next school year will include at least a $2,500 raise for all eligible teachers, a $4,000 raise for school psychologists and speech-language pathologists, a 3% raise for non-teacher employees, a $2,500 raise for assistant principals.

The budget would also include a supplemental pay rate increase for additional roles including academic, coaching and support.

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“This is a considerable investment to ensure we retain and recruit the best possible teachers and support staff to serve our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower. “The most important factor in a student’s success at school is an outstanding teacher. We need to show our teachers we value their critically important role in our schools and our community.”

The proposed costs, including bonuses, steps, raises and other adjustments total more than $20 million.