By Barry Dalton
Teachers may not have received a salary raise this year, but the Community R-VI Board of Education approved $600 one-time stipends during a Feb. 25 meeting for all of its certificated full-time staff for the 2020-21 school year.
The stipends are being provided to recognize and compensate teachers for all of the extra duties that they performed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s something that several Missouri districts are considering.
“Teachers just want to do what’s right for kids,” Mack said. “Several districts in Missouri are providing stipends with stimulus and CARES money received by the district.”
Mack said that even though COVID has placed extra work on teachers, they have stayed focused on student achievement.
“In our discussions with other superintendents, there were a lot of districts across the state who had teachers who didn’t come to work because of COVID,” Mack added. “Because of the executive orders that were in place, they were able to not come to work. We haven’t had that. Not one of our teachers has balked one time about coming to work.”
The stipend will be in the form of a separate payment or check. Community R-VI will receive $396,000 this year from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II). Salaries are one of the expenses allowed under the pandemic stimulus regulations.
Mack said the district will probably use all of its pandemic funding towards salaries. Total salaries for the year are $2 million. Funneling the money into salaries will free up money to make capital improvements, she said, including improving air quality in schools.
The motion carried 7-0.