ATLANTA - Gov. Brian Kemp and State School Superintendent Richards Woods announced plans Thursday to use federal money to send every Georgia school district a one-time $1,000 supplements per teacher and school staff member during the COVID-19 pandemic.
State school officials say the plan involves distributing a $1,000 payment that will be proposed during the State Board of Education's meeting on Feb. 18.
According to a release by the Georgia Department of Education, the supplement is intended to be given to all teachers, paraprofessionals, counselors, psychologists, nurses, custodians, bus drivers, school nutrition staff, medical specialists, clerical staff, administrative assistants, school principals and assistant principals, coaches, therapists, and more at all of Georgia K-12 public schools.
Kemp announced the planned supplement during his State of the State Thursday morning while talking about the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has had on learning in Georgia.
"In a day and age where so much is thrown at those investing in our children on the front lines, the additional burdens of remote learning, social distancing, wearing a mask, adapting to the new normal — honestly made educating overwhelming," Kemp said. "But the great men and women running Georgia’s schools didn’t miss a beat. From principals, teachers, custodians, bus drivers, and support staff on down, their actions have inspired us all."
"Our teachers and school staff have done extraordinary work in the last ten months," Woods said in a statement. "At the onset of the pandemic, they essentially reinvented the educational delivery system in the space of a weekend, and since then have continued to show up for their students, whether virtually or in-person."
The superintendent said the money would be a "gesture of gratitude" for the "work and sacrifices" of teachers and staff.
According to officials, the $60 million of the payments will be provided from the Governor's Office while $180 million will come from a part of the Georgia Department of Education's portion of the CARES 2 stimulus.
While state leaders have earmarked the federal money for teachers, local schools will have the final say-so on how the money is used.
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