Millions of dollars in coronavirus relief funds are being transformed into four-figure “thank you” bonuses for teachers and staff in many states, causing fury among parents for the misuse of pandemic funds.
States joining in on the trend include Colorado, California, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas. With more states set to jump in soon. The move is ironic since California is where teachers resisted restoring in-person learning for months.
Georgia was the first state in the country to accept bonuses for teachers. Leaders in the state decided to award $1,000 payments to more than 230,000 employees. The price tag for the program came to $230.5 million, or around 35 percent of the state’s money, as detailed by The WallStreet Journal. Many parents are angered by these teacher bonuses.
The bonuses are supposedly a desperate push to stop educators from resigning because of low morale. Teachers are reporting they are depressed after the pandemic forced them to move to remote learning and then return to in-person teaching.
Over $190 billion in pandemic relief funds were given to schools with almost no restrictions on how they could use the money.
“We need a sort of morale boost, and our answer was giving the bonus,” said Matt Jones, who is the leader of Georgia’s state dept. of education.
In California, around $2.8 million is being given to teachers as a 3.5 percent bonus before the upcoming school year.
Over 170,000 Florida teachers are expected to get a $1,000 check in the next weeks too. The payments are a part of the $101.5 billion state budget that was enacted by Governor DeSantis in July. That did not stop the teacher’s union in the state from attacking him, however.
DeSantis said, “We understand the pandemic put a lot of stress on our first responders, EMTs and law enforcement, and so we think that we should recognize their sacrifice.”
Andrew Spar, the leader of Florida’s Education Association, said that teachers will “appreciate this help.” But he also said “The devil is in the details.”
Spar unappreciatively responded while also taking a hit against DeSantis, “If this was genuine, the money would have been awarded to everyone who work in schools.” He said.
You want to be treated like a professional?
If a professional swings an ultimatum like this at their employer outside of Education – threatening to not work as hard (as you’ve done) – the professional would be terminated on the spot.
— Honest Abe (@LincolnAbe54321) July 13, 2021
A public entity using/wasting money for an unintended purpose?? Nah couldn’t be.
— The Drain Man #Bitcoin (@TheDrainMan2) July 18, 2021
Hahah for what? Most teachers showed their true colors and dropped the ball worse than any other profession during this. They showed they’re m nothing but political mouth pieces who push their brainwashed ideology on innocent kids
— PaulesRevenge (@PaulesRevenge) July 18, 2021
No wonder education in the US is so bad and expensive. Entitled educators. There are other jobs that pay more money but without the summers off. It’s like waiters. They don’t want a 9-5 job but want others to foot their bills.
— LDY (@Lodigoyo2014) July 18, 2021
Maybe the cops and firefighters who continued to work, in person, answering calls, during the whole fucking event, could use a bonus.
— Mageaux (@MagooActual) July 18, 2021
Bonuses for what? They actively campaigned to keep kids out of school and haven’t been working for a year. Lifetime achievement due to lack of Education has suffered monstrously. And they get a raise Christ almighty why? Literally the most entitled underserving group
— ParticularIncome (@particular_inc) July 18, 2021
Nobody wants their most precious children being taught by these communist groups. Teachers have shit in their own sandbox. Get your kids away from these "teachers".
— Wheres the beef (@StandUpFightBa4) July 18, 2021
Lift morale? Huh?
A year of not working while getting paid. Please Lord, help these poor souls. 🙄🙄🙄
— Chuck "The Gov’t-FB Censorship Liaison” Steele (@ChuckSteeleSr) July 19, 2021
Author: Blake Ambrose