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Board Approves Bonus Payments

Ken McLemore

HOPE – A bonus to Hope Public Schools faculty and staff based upon the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis was voted unanimously Monday by the Hope Public Schools Board in a one-time payment effective with the issuance of December payrolls.

HPS Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart met with school board members in a called session Monday to recommend the payments.

“The Hope School District values high-quality educators and desires to retain highly-effective teachers,” Dr. Hart said in a recommendation memo. “Due to COVID-19, the Hope School District has continued to provide on-site instruction for students in addition to a digital option. This additional opportunity has increased the workload of Hope School District educators.”

Consequently, the board voted a $1,000 payment to current certified staff, he said.

Funding for the certified staff payment will come from Enhanced Student Achievement funds provided by the state, Hart said.

Hart also presented a recommendation for a $500 payment for classified staff. He said funding for the classified staff payment will come from local revenues.

The district has been required to contend with a delay in the start of the school year coupled with a bifurcated instructional system of on-campus and virtual instruction as the COVID-19 health crisis has progressed. Teachers and instructional staff have contended with the roll out of online instructional platforms districtwide and the maintenance of student progress in both formats during the school day and beyond.

The board voted 6-0 to adopt the recommendation in a Zoom conference Monday morning with Board President Linda Haynes absent.

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