The Board of Education yesterday authorized Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) to provide a one-time $1,000 payment in two installments to active employees.
Eligible employees include those covered by both the Education Association of Charles County (EACC) contract, as well as employees covered by the school system’s contract with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Also receiving the payment are CCPS food and nutrition workers and teacher substitutes serving in an official long-term substitute teacher assignment. Temporary employees and daily substitutes are not eligible for the payment.
Superintendent of Schools Maria Navarro extended the payment to CCPS contracted bus drivers and attendants. CCPS transportation staff will work with bus contractors to ensure active drivers and attendants receive the payment.
The payment will be made in two installments: $500 in November with the second $500 payment paid to the employee at the end of the 2021-2022 school year by June 30, 2022. To receive each payment, the eligible employee must be an active employee on the day payment is made. The income is taxable.
Navarro recognizes the toll COVID-19 has had on employees through the re-opening of schools and return to in-person learning compounded with unprecedented workforce shortages, and hopes the additional support will encourage staff to continue to move forward together to help children during challenging times.
“We have had a successful start to the school year, despite complicated operational and instructional issues linked both to the pandemic and workforce shortages. Some of these issues include COVID-19 contact tracing and supporting learning for quarantined students, managing supply chain shortages, staff covering vacancies or for colleagues who are out, and addressing the complex social-emotional needs of students alongside extensive learning gaps. Staff is working tirelessly to ensure our students are thriving and making gains. This also includes those employees who work behind the scenes to ensure our schools are up and running each day, and students are fed. I appreciate everything our CCPS staff community is doing and hope this extra support demonstrates our understanding of the complex working conditions staff has faced this year,” Navarro said.
The cost of the payment is estimated at $4.5 million. CCPS is funding the payment through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, also known as ESSER. The school system was approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to receive $30.8 million in grant funds as part of ESSER. CCPS is amending its ESSER grant application with MSDE to include the one-time payment cost. CCPS can use ESSER funds to safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and to address the impact of COVID-19 on students.
Members of both the EACC and AFSCME negotiating teams met earlier today to discuss the payment and finalized memorandums of understanding. Any CCPS employee who has questions should contact the Office of Human Resources at 301-934-7255.