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TCSS discusses retention bonuses for employees left out of state proposal

During Monday’s work session, the Troup County School Board heard a recommendation from Superintendent Brian Shumate to pay retention bonuses to employees who weren’t included in the previously announced statewide bonus. The $1000 bonuses were originally announced in January by Gov. Brian Kemp and State Superintendent Richard Woods, with kindergarten through twelfth-grade teachers and staff included. The purpose of the bonuses was to support stronger recruitment and retention of teachers and school-level staff and as a gesture of gratitude for their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Part-time employees received a $500 bonus.

Shumate’s recommendation was to use $277,481.21 to fund retention supplements for all staff. Shumate said about 50 employees were left off of the state list, so the approved amount would provide those staff members bonuses. About $130,000 of the $277,481.21 would also pay for payroll taxes for all employees, which was not included in the funding allocated by the state.

Shumate said some of the funding is prorated, depending on if the person worked a portion of the year or retired after the first semester.

“Those people helped us get school system and did great work in the fall,” Shumate said. The payment will include substitute teachers and substitute bus drivers as well.

“We’re trying to be loyal to our employees who have been very loyal to us,” Shumate said.

According to the Georgia Department of Education, Troup County is receiving a total of $1,632,685.65 total, with $1,609,350 going to salary and $23,335.65 going to benefits.

Statewide, the bonuses are using federal stimulus dollars and payments are being provided to more than 225,000 eligible and full and part-time teachers.

The board will vote on the recommendation on Thursday.