As the nation awaits the rollout of the $1.9 trillion in spending, which includes over $100 billion for schools, some California school districts are considering a plan to spend the money on teacher bonuses or even trips.
The money was intended to help schools open, to retrofit buildings, or provide for more PPE, or increase staff, but Reopen California Schools, a group trying to get schools opened up, revealed that some school districts are planning to use these funds for things that have nothing to do with getting teachers back to work and kids back to class.
On Twitter, the group wrote that they have "been inundated with reports of school districts spending state and federal Covid relief money on substantial one-time bonuses to teachers and administrators instead of spending them on getting kids back in classrooms or to curb learning loss. This thread will document them." And it does.
Information obtained from the San Juan Unified School District showed that they were "paying 1 percent bonuses with state and fed aid money. This means food service and special ed aides who have been in-person since Sept get ~$300, teachers who haven’t stepped foot on campus get ~$1,000, and the superintendent ~$3,000.
They report that Clovis Unified School District "is proposing a $6,000 bonus per employee with state and federal aid money! 'Because of the influx of one-time dollars from the state and federal government... [we were asked to] work on a possible one-time, off-schedule payment to employees'"
Dublin Unified School District is proposing trips to Hawaii for teachers.
Desert Sands Unified School District has also determined that bonuses for teachers are in order with this new cash influx.
California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom told CNN in an interview responding to the recall effort against him said that 9,000 of the state's 11,000 schools have either reopened or have a "firm date" to reopen. However, he did not specify how he classified a "reopened" school.
The group Reopen California Schools noted on Twitter that in the Bay Area's Dublin School District, "80-90 percent of the teachers have been vaccinated, yet appear to be refusing to return to work sites. The doc states this is "bad optics."