Monday, November 28, 2022

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School board unanimously approves retroactive $5,000 retention bonuses

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Alamance-Burlington school board members voted unanimously Monday night to award $5,000 “retention bonuses” to 32 Adapted Curriculum teachers who are currently employed with ABSS.

Adapted Curriculum teachers work within the Exceptional Children’s (EC) program and serve severely-disabled students, who need assistance with basic functions like using the toilet and require more attention during instruction, based on an earlier description by ABSS deputy superintendent Dr. Angela Bost.

Those teaching positions are often the hardest to fill, ABSS finance officer Jeremy Teetor told school board members earlier this month.

The school board’s 7-0 vote Monday night to award the $5,000 retention bonuses to existing Adapted Curriculum teachers follows a unanimous vote two weeks ago to offer a $10,000 “signing bonus” that Teetor said would make it easier to fill nine vacancies. In exchange, any teachers hired in those jobs would have to stay with ABSS for at least two years or return a pro-rated portion of the signing bonus if they leave before then, he said.

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Each of the 32 existing Adapted Curriculum teachers will receive the $5,000 retention bonus in a single, lump-sum payment, in exchange for agreeing to continue their employment with ABSS “for the remainder of this school year,” Teetor said Monday night. They also would be required to return a portion of their retention bonuses should they leave ABSS before the current school year ends in June 2022, he said.

School board member Sandy Ellington-Graves voted reluctantly two weeks ago to approve the $10,000 signing bonuses, she asked her fellow board members to revisit their discussion this week, worrying that offering bonuses to new hires might damage the morale of existing teachers within the Adapted Curriculum program, who she said “are not getting those bonuses.”

Meanwhile, several of the vacant Adapted Curriculum teaching vacancies have been filled, school board members were told this week.

The $10,000 signing bonuses will be funded by recurring annual federal funding for the EC program; the $5,000 retention bonuses will be funded by an “EC reserve fund,” which is comprised of revenue from Medicaid reimbursements for EC student services, Teetor said.


See related stories from August 23 school board meeting:

School board votes, 6-1, on distribution of $69.5 million Covid funding: https://alamancenews.com/school-board-votes-6-1-how-to-spend-69-5-million-in-federal-covid-funding/

$37.5 million to be spent on air quality at 16 schools: https://alamancenews.com/37-5m-to-be-spent-on-air-quality-projects-at-16-schools/

Pay boosted (again) for substitute teachers: https://alamancenews.com/school-board-votes-to-raise-pay-for-subs-even-more/

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