Guilford County Schools approves bonuses for teachers, other district employees

Piedmont Triad News

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Most Guilford County Schools employees can expect a pay bump after the board of education voted to approve bonuses from federal funding Tuesday night. 

All district employees, excluding principals and assistant principals, will receive a $1,500 bonus for all employees, excluding principals and assistant principals. Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras also recommended an additional $500 bonus for the district’s lowest-paid classified staff. 

Through a combination of state and federal funds, teachers could potentially see bonuses totaling $4,300 if they meet certain criteria. 

For example, teachers who have received training related to COVID-19 will receive an additional $1,000 from the state’s federal ESSER funds.    

As part of the approved budget, board members approved an average 5% raise for teachers over the next two years. 

Members of Guilford County’s Association of Educators voiced their support for $4,000 bonuses from the relief funding.  

“You have to have a certain amount of the budget to mitigate learning loss, so we have to have tutoring funds. We have to make sure we have funds for personal protective equipment, PPE, we have to keep funding masks, you heard that come up last night. So we couldn’t just give all the funds for bonuses,” Contreras said Wednesday. 

Teachers and other staff members shared their frustration over colleagues choosing their classrooms for higher-paying professions. 

“With all due respect, I want to share my raise with you so you can see and understand how it feels,” one teacher said during Tuesday’s public comment period. “$36, this is my raise from the past year and it’s going to be my gift to you for the school board. Split it amongst yourselves, since I get 12-month pay you will still see more than I see every month.”  

Below is the full breakdown provided by the district: 

·         Teachers will receive an average raise of 5 percent over the next two years. The budget increases the base teacher salary schedule by 1.3% at each step, for an average 2.5% increase each year including step increases. Assistant principals will receive corresponding increases.    

·         Principals will receive a 2.5% increase at all levels of the principal salary schedule this year and next year.   

·         Non-certified personnel will receive either a 2.5% increase or $13/hour minimum wage in 2021-22 and 2.5% increase or $15/hour minimum wage in 2022-23.    

·         Central office staff will receive a 2.5% increase in 2021-22 and an additional increase of 2.5% in 2022-23.   

·         Instructional Support Personnel will receive a $350/month ($3,500 annually) supplement for school psychologists, speech pathologists and audiologists; school counselors will receive $100/month ($1,000 annually).   

·         All full-time employees will receive a $1,000 one-time bonus. Employees earning less than $75,000 will also receive an additional $500.     

·         Teachers will receive one-time bonuses of $300 in lieu of performance bonuses. Performance bonuses will return in 2022-23.    

·         Teachers who have received training specific to COVID-19 will receive an additional $1,000 from the state’s federal ESSER funds.    

·         Principals will receive one-time bonuses of $1,800 in lieu of performance bonuses. Performance-based bonuses will be restored in the 2022-23 school year.   

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