May 16—The Morgan County school system will spend almost $1 million to give full- and part-time employees a one-time $1,000 bonus for their efforts during this pandemic-afflicted school year, officials said.
"This incentive pay is to show our appreciation to all our staff members for their dedication and the extra duties they performed that kept our kids safe and our school doors open during this extremely trying school year," said Superintendent Robert Elliott Jr.
The school board approved the extra pay in a unanimous vote Thursday night. Employees will receive the bonus on May 28.
"Appreciation of this magnitude is tremendous, and we are grateful that they recognized their employees with such a strong outpouring of funds," said Wendy Lang, the Alabama Education Association's District 5 UniServ director.
The efforts of school employees, board chairman Jimmy Dobbs said, are "very much appreciated by the board members."
"Our teachers and staff have gone above and beyond for the past year and a half," Dobbs said. "It has been very physically and emotionally draining on them. They will be stronger as a result of this in the coming school year as we get back to some sense of normalcy."
Chief School Financial Officer Brian Bishop said the bonus money comes to almost $1 million, with just under 1,000 employees receiving that bonus. A few employees will receive half the amount, if they were on the payroll for only half the school year.
The money for the pay will come from the district's general fund.
All certified and classified Decatur City Schools employees received $100 at the end of last school year, said Superintendent Michael Douglas.
Hartselle City Schools employees, including contract employees, received a $250 bonus in December, according to Superintendent Dee Dee Jones. "We paid the taxes on it for everyone so they brought home the $250," Jones said.
The Limestone County school board in October approved Superintendent Randy Shearouse's recommendation to give a one-time bonus of $1,000 to all full-time employees with benefits as of Oct. 1. About 1,200 employees received the extra pay, which came from the district's general fund.
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