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GCPS extends state award of $1,000 to all employees

     In January, Gov. Brian Kemp and State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced a $1,000 award would be provided to all public school-level teachers and staff to support stronger recruitment and retention of teachers and school-level staff and as a gesture of gratitude for their work and sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic. The staff designated by the state to receive this payment included, but was not limited to, teachers, paraprofessionals, school counselors, school psychologists, school nurses, custodians, bus drivers, school nutrition staff, media specialists, clerical staff, school principals, assistant principals, and instructional coaches. Gwinnett County Public Schools CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks is expanding the award to include all active GCPS employees as of April 1, 2021.

     At its March meeting, the State Board of Education approved the plan to pay $1,000 to teachers and most other education employees, passing along $240 million in federal coronavirus relief money to local districts. Gwinnett County Public Schools will receive just over $21 million in these funds to cover the payment and associated Medicare costs. Locally, GCPS will use money out of its General Fund to include approximately 600 additional employees. In all, just over 21,000 GCPS employees will receive this award.

     “Our staff members have done a tremendous job throughout the pandemic, serving and caring for students,” says Mr. Wilbanks. “They have gone above and beyond in carrying out their duties and that work has taken place in classrooms, on school buses, in school cafeterias, in maintenance shops, and in offices across the district. We appreciate this gesture from the state and felt it appropriate to extend this “thank you” to all of our employees who have worked tirelessly to keep our schools open and operations going.”

     In Gwinnett, all active benefit-eligible employees, as of April 1, 2021, will receive the one-time $1,000 payment in their paycheck at the end of April. In addition, all active long-term substitutes will receive $1,000. Retirees who currently work part-time (.49) will receive $490.