Many California school districts are reportedly using their COVID relief funds to pay teachers bonuses after pressure from teachers’ unions, some districts even allowing the teachers to continue teaching virtually.
“I’ve been inundated with reports of school districts spending state and federal Covid relief money on substantial one-time bonuses to teachers and administrators instead of spending them on getting kids back in classrooms or to curb learning loss,” Reopen California Schools tweeted, along with a thread documenting each report.
First, it’s fitting to start with what the @NEAToday pres. admitted Friday night.
In her words, the light at the end of the tunnel is… the 1.9T fed aid package giving 170B to schools.
You’d think this money would be spent on PPE, supplies, and programs for kids. Not quite… pic.twitter.com/8wx4OzzEjf
— Reopen California Schools (@ReopenCASchools) March 14, 2021
They followed up the original tweet with a clip of a CNN interview with National Education Association President Becky Pringle, who said, “we have been asking for the resources we need” to reopen schools and “the light at the end of this very dark tunnel” was Biden’s COVID relief bill that allocated $170 billion to schools, and Reopen California Schools wrote in their caption, “You’d think this money would be spent on PPE, supplies, and programs for kids. Not quite…”
The first school district to start the trend was Desert Sands Unified School District, which entered an agreement with the Desert Sands Teachers Association to pay teachers, who will remain teaching virtually, a $1,000 bonus and $250 stipend. While these teachers will be remote, they will have substitute teachers who will teach in-person but will not receive the benefits.
Another example from the thread reported that the Dublin Unified School District is giving their teachers $2,500 and “suggesting [they] could use the money for a trip to Hawaii.” The thread goes on to lists numerous other similar examples.