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States are starting to distribute "retention bonuses" as part of the American Rescue Plan stimulus relief bill that was signed into law back in March.

Funds totaling $122 billion was distributed to each state by the Education Department for relief to “fund health and safety measures consistent with CDC guidance, address the disruptions to teaching and learning resulting from the pandemic…and get students back in the classroom quickly and safely.”

Districts in Tennessee, Texas, California and the entire state of Georgina have approved four-figure bonuses in an attempt to stave off teacher resignations and boost staff morale after the pandemic, reports the Wall Street Journal.

According to Raiseyourhandtexas.org, the state of Texas is receiving $19.2 billion in federal stimulus funding for K-12 public education.

Texas initially received $1.3 billion in stimulus funding in the spring of 2020; however, state leaders supplanted that money (meaning they swapped out state funding for federal funding). This resulted in school districts not receiving any additional dollars under the program. Now, the second and third rounds of federal stimulus money (totaling $17.9 billion) are awaiting dispersal, with the $5.5 billion provided in round two currently being considered by the Texas legislature.

San Angelo ISD received nearly $3 million in federal stimulus during the first round of funding according to the web site. The SAISD is expected to receive an estimated close to $44 million in total from the three rounds of federal stimulus.

Other reports say that Texas is among five states that will send stimulus checks to teachers, although there has not been confirmation by the Texas Education Agency, the Office of the Governor or the two biggest teachers’ unions.

So, will teachers here in San Angelo be getting a $1000 retention bonus? Are you a teacher who feels you deserve to have a bonus following the circumstances surrounding the COVID pandemic? Let us know on Facebook or chat with us on our station app.

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