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DeKalb School Board will consider approving $13.5 million for staff retention bonuses

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DeKalb School Board will consider approving $13.5 million for staff retention bonuses

DeKalb County School District Administration and Industrial Complex on Mountain Industrial Blvd. in Stone Mountain. Photo by Dean Hesse

DeKalb County, GA — The DeKalb County School Board meets Jan. 8 and will consider approving $13.5 million for staff retention bonuses.

The meeting begins at 12:30 p.m. with a closed-door meeting, known as an executive session. The meeting will be held at 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard. It will also be live-streamed. To view the live stream, click here. To see the full agenda, click here.

“On December 18, 2023, Governor Kemp announced a $1,000 Retention Bonus for state employees, teachers and support staff. The allocations earmarked for school districts were tied to positions earned via the QBE formula. As a result, the total award for our school district was $9,930,774. This award comes with very few strings attached and provides systems with great autonomy on developing eligibility requirements.”

However, it won’t be enough to cover all the proposed bonuses.

“Since our system blends state, local, and federal resources to fund positions throughout the district, the $9,930,774 allocation will not be enough to cover all staff using the recommended rubric. The total estimated cost for the recommendation is $13.5 million,” the agenda says. “If approved, we will use $246,518 from additional funds received through the Pre-K program to fund this initiative, and roughly $3.3 million from ESSER III (currently budgeted) to fully fund the $13.5 million price tag.”

The following bonuses are being considered, according to the meeting agenda:

— A $1,000 bonus for all active, full-time benefits-eligible staff employed as of Jan. 17th with a $1,000 bonus. This would be given to 12,715 employees.

— A $500 bonus for all active, part-time employees who are employed as of Jan. 17. This would be given to 501 employees.

– A $500 bonus to all active substitute teachers who have worked at least 250 hours during the fall 2023 semester and who are employed as of Jan. 17. This would be given to 650 employees.

In other business at the Jan. 8 meeting, the school board will consider:

— Electing a chair and vice chair for 2024. The current chair and vice chair are board members Diijon DaCosta Sr. and Deirdre Pierce.

— Approving 2024 legislative priorities. The priorities were not attached to the agenda as of Jan. 4.

— Approving $9 million in contracts for speech therapy services.

— Approving school calendars for 2024 through 2026. The calendar will include a fall break in October, a winter break in February and a spring break in April. To see the 2024-2025 proposed calendar, click here. To see the 2025-2026 proposed calendar, click here.

— Accepting a donation from the Affordable Connectivity Program for $16.7 million worth of tablets

— Renewing the charter of DeKalb Preparatory Academy

— Renewing the charter of the International Community School

— Approving a $2.5 million contract to PlayPower Inc. for playground equipment repairs, replacements and installation services.

— Approving a $2 million in contracts for electrical contractor services. The companies getting the contracts are  Capital City Electrical Services, Mr. Dee’s Electric Service LLS and MWI Electrical.

— Approving a  budget amendment to cover an additional $2 million to KONE, Inc. Elevator Services for elevator maintenance services

“On September 11, 2023, the Board of Education renewed the authorization to use the Omnia Partners Cooperative Agreement Contract No. EV2516 with KONE, Inc. for the purchase of elevator services, repair, maintenance, and inspection/testing parts for the not to exceed the amount of $750,000,” the agenda says. “It is requested that the budget be increased by $2,000,000, to the current term of the contract, to cover unforeseen additional cost for newly required upgrades to the current elevators located within the Dekalb County School District.”

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