Dec 1, 2021 - News

Atlanta schools give $1,000 stipend to employees

A stack of money tied up with a red bow.
Maura Losch/Axios

Atlanta Public Schools employees will see a bump in their paychecks this month.

All of the district’s 6,000 employees will receive a one-time $1,000 stipend, a move that’s part of APS’ effort to “retain its employees and let them know how much their work is appreciated,” according to a press release.

Why it matters: The stipends come at a time when educators continue to teach during a pandemic that’s affected the mental health and, in some cases, academic progress of their students.

  • Teachers are also feeling burnt out, forcing school districts to make changes to retain their largest group of employees.

What they’re saying:

  • “For what will soon be two years, all of our employees have remained focused, nimble and adaptable through the pandemic,” APS superintendent Lisa Herring said in the press release . “They are dedicated to our core work, which is educating children and keeping them safe.”

Details: The Atlanta Board of Education is expected to adjust the district’s budget to accommodate the stipends at Monday’s meeting. This will allow the stipends to hit employee paychecks on Dec. 15.

APS has taken several steps this year to improve compensation for its employees, including:

  • Implementing a 5.8% pay increase.
  • Increasing the minimum wage to $15 for hourly staff.
  • Bumping up substitute teacher pay.
  • Adding $3,000 stipends for full-time, salaried elementary school staff working extended days.

What’s next: Next month, APS aims to roll out:

  • $3,000 stipends for special education teachers, half of which will be paid in December and the other half in May.
  • Retention stipends ranging from $500 to $2,000 for staff working in schools located in high-poverty areas.
  • Stipends for teachers in career pathway leadership roles.
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