ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Anne Arundel County Public Schools full-time permanent employees will receive $1,000 bonuses in recognition of their work to tackle increased responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, Superintendent George Arlotto announced yesterday.
The bonuses were negotiated with AACPS’ four employee bargaining units and will come from funds available through the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) grant programs. The amendment to AACPS’ original grant application that will fund the bonuses must be approved by the Maryland State Department of Education before employees receive them.
“I could not be more proud of our team and of the unrelenting dedication to students they have shown in the face of circumstances no one could have anticipated,” Dr. Arlotto said. “In every school and office throughout our system, the members of our AACPS family have done far more than the public will ever see to propel our students forward. These bonuses are one small way to acknowledge that incredible work.”
Under the plan announced by Dr. Arlotto today, permanent employees whose full-time equivalency is less than 0.75 will receive a pro-rated bonus. The bonuses will be paid in two installments, with the first tentatively scheduled for March 10, 2022, and the second for June 30, 2022. Employees must retain an active employment status to be eligible for the bonuses.
“Our Board and Dr. Arlotto have continually attempted to do what we could to convey our appreciation to our amazing employees,” Board of Education President Joanna Tobin said. “The pandemic has not been an easy road for anyone, and our employees have been shining stars since the outset.”
In addition to the bonuses, employees have received two hours of personal wellness time in December and had their work year reduced by a day without a reduction in compensation. Teachers and other school-based employees have been given the latitude to work remotely on the semester break day on Monday, January 31, and the Board is continuing to examine additional ways to reduce workloads and provide additional wellness time for all employees.
The agreement reached on bonuses with Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County also includes compensation for teachers who must cover classes for absent colleagues.