Local teachers react to 1,000 dollar bonuses

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A proposal from Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, and state school superintendent Richard Woods, has been approved.

Georgia teachers and school staff will get a $1000 bonus for their hard work. It’s an act of gratitude towards a different type of frontline worker.

“We knew there was a lot of anxiety and just a lot of pressure on teachers, and just people in general whether it’s food and nutrition or just bus drivers,” said Richard Woods, Superintendent of Georgia schools.

It’s also an incentive to not throw in the towel.

“Hearing things out in the field, there are some that want to retire or move on, which is one of the things we are trying to combat, ” said Superintendent Woods.

Governor Kemp and Superintendent Woods made the proposal in January. It recommended that educators receive the thousand dollars in a one-time payment.

But it’s not just for teachers.

David Phillips is a 7th-grade science teacher at Greenbrier Middle School. He’s been teaching for 18 years and says this year has been the most challenging, to say the least.

“I’m very appreciative of the governor and the superintendent for recognizing what we do and how tough it’s been, but I think the most exciting part for me is that it extends out to media specialists, para pros, the school lunch workers, and just everybody in the building who has helped get it done this year,” said Phillips.

Jennifer Ross, a K-5 Gifted teacher in Richmond County, is also looking forward to those funds for a different reason.

“Now, for me personally, I plan on using that bonus money towards purchasing some things I would have really wanted to use with my children this year in the gifted program, but other than that, I think that is awesome,” said Ross.

Some employees worry that the majority of that money would go to taxes.

“Some money will come out but it won’t be as quite as bad, this will be a separate check, so it won’t be added into their typical salary,” said Superintendent Woods.

State Superintendent Richard Woods says school employees should start seeing that money as early as April 1st.

Another proposal allowing teachers to get a 3 thousand dollar tax credit incentive was also approved. It’s known as House Bill 32. It recommends that teachers receive a 3,000 dollar tax credit for some Georgia teachers who agree to work in certain rural or low-performing schools. Superintendent Woods addressed that bill:

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