Teachers in many states are scheduled to get $1,000 stimulus checks, even as requests rise for the fourth wave of economic impact payments to millions still touched by the coronavirus pandemic's economic destruction.
Educators in at least seven states and school districts throughout the country will receive one-time stimulus payments of up to $1,000 as a "thank you" or hazard pay incentive for fulfilling their duties in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. The $1,000 retention bonus, which was authorized in March, is scheduled to be distributed to around 230,000 K-12 public school teachers and employees in Georgia.
Who can receive $1,000 bonus stimulus payments?
The stimulus checks will be paid for using money from Georgia's federal Covid-19 stimulus package, which will cost $230.5 million. The increased child tax credit is one sort of extra income that will be available to millions of families in 2021. Teachers and other school personnel in many states, including Georgia and Florida, will get $1,000 stimulus checks.
Per CNET, state and local governments got $350 billion in aid as part of the American Rescue Plan. Many of the relief money will go to schools, with some states opting to give up to $1,000 in "thank you" stimulus payments to teachers and other school personnel. California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas are among the states taking part. Other states are likely to approve comparable amounts in the future, given that they have until 2024 to spend them.
School districts and states have begun awarding one-time "thank you" or hazard pay bonuses using federal stimulus funds as a means to show appreciation for their efforts and to help retain teachers and staff. However, others are questioning if this is a good use of the funds.
The one-time bonuses were designed to help with recruitment and retention, as well as to express thanks for their "effort and sacrifices during the Covid-19 pandemic." The program's funding comes from the state's $660.6 million federal Covid-19 spending plan, and it will cost $230.5 million, AS.com reported.
In March, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suggested a similar stimulus payment to teachers as part of the state's budget, which was approved in June. A $1,000 "thank you" payment will be given to about 175,000 Florida teachers and 3,600 principals. Governor DeSantis' gratitude plan, however, did not include 120,000 additional school employees. Florida will pay the incentives with $216 million of the cash it got from Congress.
Hawaii was going to be a little more generous with its teachers, awarding each of them a $2,200 one-time "stabilization payment" for the goal of educator workforce stabilization and retention. The stimulus payments would have cost the state $29.7 million in federal Covid-19 relief money and would have gone to full-time and part-time teachers. Governor David Ige, however, vetoed the law in the end.
Michigan put aside $73 million in hazard compensation for teachers and support personnel in October. It was part of a deal struck by Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Legislature. At the end of February, the "MI Classroom Heroes Grants" distributed $500 stimulus payments to teachers and $250 checks to employees.
Which states provide "thank you" stimulus payments?
Other school districts in California, Colorado, Tennessee, and Texas have suggested or enacted one-time incentives or salary increases. Using money from the Covid-19 funds, on the other hand, has enraged some parents and raised doubts about whether the money is being used wisely.
Around $2.8 million is being spent in Berkeley, California, to offer teachers a 3.5 percent bonus in preparation for the new school year. In addition, more than 170,000 Florida teachers are scheduled to get a $1,000 payment in the following weeks.
The payments, which are expected to be handed out later this summer, were included in Gov. Ron DeSantis's $101.5 billion state budget, which was passed into law in early July. Parents have retaliated, and not all states have authorized comparable payments. The Florida proposal is now being questioned because the state's Education Department is concerned that it may breach federal regulations.
Lindsay Nofelt, a mother of a coming third-grader and a rising kindergarten in Berkeley, said that she feels the money could have been better spent improving science and math education. Schools have until 2024 to decide how they would spend the $190 billion in stimulus funds.
Only 12 state plans have been approved thus far, and the cash will not be given until a plan for how the money will be used is authorized. The funds are subject to specific conditions, such as a percentage being set aside for learning loss. Governments and school districts can spend the money however they choose, as per The Sun.