The largest school district in Virginia recently put forth $32.7 million in bonuses to teachers for the “extraordinary contributions and sacrifices” made as part of the COVID-19 pandemic, Though teachers throughout the district had been working from home almost exclusively.
As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, Ricardy Anderson, a member of the school board, put forth an announcement that Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) district would be using the funds it had received from the federal COVID-19 relief efforts in order to pay bus drivers, teacher, and other various staff members for their “extraordinary” efforts throughout the pandemic.
The teachers for the FCPS have not actually returned to full in-person learning for the 2020-2021 school year. The top unions for the district have managed to successfully lobby to keep schools closed and to keep the kids learning from home for most of the school year.
The Fairfax County Federation of Teachers has demanded that all educators remain in an online capacity during the 2020-2021 school year. It also made the demands that the school district implements “proactive school closures” for the currently ongoing 2021-2022 school year.
In a similar manner, Kimberly Adams, the Fairfax Education Association (FEA) President, stated that the students must take the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to their full-time, in-person learning. Adams also issued these comments before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed its approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 12 and up.
“The timeline and return to in-person instruction must reflect that we wait for the second dose to be effective,” stated Adams. “Concerns also remain that students will not be vaccinated before they return to school. This will require that we maintain the hybrid model and continue social distancing, masking, and all other mitigation strategies.”
A Fairfax County parent, Dee O’Neal, who runs the “Open FCPS Coalition,” stated to the Free Beacon that she does not think that these teachers deserve and such bonuses.
“The union members who pushed to stay home are not deserving of this bonus.” Bonuses are should only be appropriate for teachers “whose voices were drowned out by the lazy a**es who wanted to stay home.”
As stated by the reporting from the Free Beacon, FCPS approved the plans by the district to go off and spend 188.6 million from the federal COVID-19 relief funds, which includes the aforementioned one-time bonus to the teachers. The funds will also be spent in order to fund viral mitigation strategies and combat “pandemic-related learning loss[es].”
The funds from the district will also, reportedly, increase the wages of bus drivers to around $22.91 per hour.