Martin County educators, support staff could receive $1,000 bonuses soon

School board finalizes pandemic relief funds
Posted at 9:53 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-20 07:59:43-04

STUART, Fla. — A bonus could be in the works for more than one thousand educators and school workers in Martin County.

On Tuesday, school board members finalized plans for millions in pandemic relief funds to be sent to the Florida Department of Education for approval.

"It's the right thing to do," said Karen Resciniti, president at Martin County Education Association. "You don't exclude people in the year when it was the worst year we've ever had."

The full request for ESSER II funds totals more than $7 million.

If approved, more than $1.7 million could go to educators left out of the first round of bonuses back on May 26, exclusively for teachers and principals, given by the governor.

"We represent media specialists, the deans, guidance counselors, support facilitators, and reading and math coaches," said Resciniti.

Food service workers, bus drivers, custodians, and other support staff could also receive the bonuses if approved.

"We want to take care of not just one group but all of our employees," said Superintendent Dr. John Millay. "The governor's money went to just teachers so basically this would be everyone else in the district, all employees that would not be in the original set of teachers."

Millay said other requests in the plan include reimbursement for protective equipment, extra computers, and summer school.

"All districts have decided to do different things," Millay said.

Millay said the state could take up to thirty days to approve the request.

If finalized, negotiations between the district and unions will begin.