Caddo Parish Public Schools to reward employees for hard work during pandemic

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 4:43 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2021 at 4:47 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Caddo Parish Public Schools will give teachers a special reward for all their hard work during the pandemic.

This week, the Caddo Parish School Board approved $15.5 million dollars to fund this initiative. The money comes from federal stimulus dollars.

All Caddo staff, and even substitute teachers, can earn up to $2,500. Caddo Superintendent Lamar Goree says it’s their way of saying thank you after such a tough year.

“We know that everyone has gone above and beyond the call of duty so that we could bring children back to school and do that safely. When we think about the bus drivers, the cafeteria workers, we think about the classroom teachers, principals, we know everyone has gone above and beyond. This is just a token of our appreciation,” Goree said.

Queensborough Elementary 2nd Grade Teacher of the Year Stephanie Wills says she is thankful.

“I think it’s going to allow teachers to think about how we can keep our students safe and just motivate us to do more to ensure that every child is receiving a quality education daily,” she said.

Currently, there is a nationwide teacher shortage. According to a study by Axios, nationally there were more than 500,000 fewer local and state education employees as of Oct. 2021. Over in Caddo, staff have battled the fight against masks and virtual learning.

“When those students were virtual, the parents have difficulty uploading those assignments and internet connections, so I decided as a teacher I would hand-deliver those assignments to the teacher,” said Wills.

According to a press release by the Caddo Parish School Board:

Full-time employees will receive an incentive payment of $1,250 per semester if they are actively employed on the last day of the semester. Employees who resign or are terminated would not be eligible for the payment. Employees on approved leaves for the 2021-2022 school year would be eligible if they report to work during the year.

Substitute employees, both long-term and day-to-day, also will be eligible for the incentive using the same payment schedule as full-time employees. For long-term substitutes who are filling declared teaching vacancies, they must be available full-time substitutes on the last day of each semester to qualify for $1,250 per semester. Day-to-day substitutes will receive $10 per day worked during the school year.

Goree said they hope to boost morale.

“I hope that these dollars are valued by employees and because of that I hope that they see Caddo as a favorable place to work,” he said.

Staff will start to see payments in Jan. and June of 2022.

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