Oct 11, 2022 - News

Des Moines school staffers paid $1,250 bonus

Illustration of an apple made of money.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Nearly 4,300 Des Moines Public Schools staffers were paid a $1,250 retention bonus Friday, according to data provided to Axios.

  • At least 20 declined the money, which requires employees to stay on board until at least the end of the current school year.

Catch up fast: School staff shortages across the nation have intensified in recent years, including the DSM metro where hundreds of teachers resigned earlier this year.

  • To help, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced $1,000 bonuses in January for Iowa teachers who remain on the job through the 2022-23 school year, using federal pandemic relief funds.
  • The bonuses paid Friday are in addition to the state's incentive and were approved by the DMPS board in April.

Of note: DMPS is also paying $50,000 to about 60 teachers who are near retirement and agreed to stay through the current school year.

State of play: Base wages in the district increased 3.2% this year, below recent inflation rates.

  • The bonuses are important to help offset the difference and retain employees, Josh Brown, president of the Des Moines Education Association told Axios Monday.

Big picture: Other districts have also extended the state's retention incentives to more employees or provided more targeted bonuses to attract applicants including WDM, Ankeny and Johnston.


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