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Osceola County public school teachers get Spring Break bonus, raises in an attempt to slow turnover

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Osceola County teachers will receive a one-time bonus ahead of Spring Break along with a pay raise starting next school year in an attempt to attract and keep employees. 

The Osceola County School Board voted to approve the one-time $500 bonuses and a $15 dollar minimum wage for employees this week. 

The bonuses will be handed out ahead of Spring Break and the raises will take effect July 1, 2022. 

District 2 member Julius Melendez says they didn’t really have a choice when it came to these incentives with a district-wide teacher and school bus driver shortage. 

“We are literally short staffed and virtually so many departments that this has to be addressed. I mean, we're talking bus drivers, you know, substitute teachers are literally teaching the class full time. I mean, we are doing the best that we can to try to get folks on to this district campus.”

District 3 member Jon Arguello says he too voted in favor of this action because of the staffing shortage. 

“Everyone is in agreement that we deserve to pay our employees more. We're all agreeing to actually do that. Thank God, there's a little bit of pressure going on so that everyone feels like they need to do this. So thank you very much for the public for putting the pressure on the school board to make the right thing happen.”

Education support professionals and other Teamsters bargaining unit employees who already make $15 dollars an hour will receive a 30 cent an hour raise starting next fall.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.