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Grady Co. School District employees react to $1,500 bonus announcement

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:17 PM EDT
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GRADY COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) - All Grady County School System employees will receive a $1,500 bonus in the upcoming school year.

From bus drivers to teachers and everyone in between, 2020 proved a difficult year for the education system.

Grady County Superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard said when discussing the new school year budget, he and the finance director proposed a retention supplement for all district workers.

“Our recommendation is to break that 1500 dollars up into three installments of 500 dollars,” said Gilliard.

The first payment will be issued just before Thanksgiving break, the second in January and the final payment before Spring break. The final budget has not been approved yet, however, Gilliard said the board has already unofficially approved the supplement portion.

“With such a trying year, and such an unprecedented year, I’m grateful that our leaders have taken the initiative to make this happen for us,” said Brooke Reynolds, who has been teaching at Cairo High school for ten years.

Reynolds said, personally, 2020 was by far the most difficult. Many teachers took on adjusting to remote teaching, and then hybrid, grading two versions of work and working to keep students motivated at home. With another unpredictable year ahead, Reynolds said it’s amazing to feel this kind of support from district leaders.

“We recognize that our employees are putting in the extra effort and we want to reward them,” said Gilliard.

Gilliard said 24 teachers have retired this year. His belief is that after such a stressful year, those that were eligible decided to get out. His hope with the retention supplement is that educators and faculty members will remain on staff to continue supporting and providing quality education to the students throughout the county.

“Our children need them,” he said.

Gilliard shared that another portion of the budget will possibly give teachers and staff a raise in addition to the $1500 supplement without an increase on taxes. The final budget should be approved in mid August.

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