HARRISBURG, Pa. — A state lawmaker wants to say 'thank you' to teachers and staff for their hard work throughout the pandemic, as they've had to navigate virtual, in person and hybrid learning. State Rep. Mark Rozzi, (D) Berks County, plans to introduce legislation to give all teachers and staff in the Commonwealth a one-time bonus.
In a co-sponsorship memo, Rep. Rozzi says, it's is no secret the coronavirus pandemic has upended Pennsylvania's education system. To show appreciation for all teachers do, Rep. Rozzi will introduce a bill to provide bonus payments to all teachers and staff from Pre-K to 12th grade, who worked during the pandemic.
Rep. Rozzi says, the money would come from the $150-million American Rescue Plan. The money would be given to the State Department of Education to disburse. Aside from teachers, this future legislation would give bonuses to all other staff including school counselors, nurses and bus drivers. It's unclear just how much these bonuses would be, but it would be based on full or part-time statuses.
If this legislation were to pass, Pennsylvania would not be the first state to give teachers and education employees a bonus for working throughout the pandemic. Last month, the Georgia State Board of Education approved a plan to pay $1,000 bonuses to teachers and staff, using $240 million dollars of its federal coronavirus relief money.
It's unknown how much support Rep. Rozzi's future legislation will have from republicans who control both the house and senate.