March 25, 2021 – The State Board of Education today approved Governor Brian Kemp's and State School Superintendent Richard Woods' recommendation that Georgia use federal stimulus funds to provide a one-time, $1,000 bonus payment to every K-12 public-school teacher and other education support personnel.
The bonus is being provided to teachers and education support staff to support stronger recruitment and retention of these critical positions as a gesture of gratitude for their work and sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These bonuses are intended to thank all public-school employees – from the teacher who found new ways to reach a classroom of students, to the bus driver who kept those students safe on the way to school," Superintendent Woods said. “We want to ensure these hard-working employees are recognized for their above-and-beyond efforts and we want them to stay in public education for the benefit of the students they serve."
The payments are intended for all teachers and education support personnel in Georgia's K-12 public schools, including – but not limited to – teachers, paraprofessionals, school counselors, school psychologists, school nurses, custodians, bus drivers, school nutrition staff, media specialists, clerical staff and administrative assistants, school principals, assistant principals, instructional coaches, therapists, and long-term substitutes. A separate bonus for Pre-K educators is being provided by the Department of Early Care and Learning.
The state is using the state reserve portion of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) federal stimulus funds to provide the bonuses. State reserve funds are intended to address statewide needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic and public schools.
School districts will receive a specific listing of eligible job codes along with funding for all eligible employees.