Cullman City Schools giving all full-time employees $500 bonus

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Cullman Tribune file photo

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman City Schools will be rewarding every full-time employee with $500 in extraordinary compensation — effectively a “bonus” — next week, after an exceptionally challenging year due to the pandemic.

The school board, acting on the recommendation of Superintendent Dr. Susan Patterson, moved Tuesday evening to approve the one-time payment of extraordinary compensation for all full-time employees as a reward for the additional work and energy required to move forward with the 2020 school year.

“It’s been such a unique and challenging year, and the board wanted to do something to show our employees how much they mean to us, and that they’re valued,” Patterson said. “From teachers, to lunchroom workers, to custodians and all the people who help make our schools so exceptional. There has been so much additional effort and time invested, balancing hybrid schedules and students working remotely, and we wanted to thank them for that.”

Due to the extraordinary circumstances continuing to surround the COVID-19 pandemic, city school employees have been required to bear additional and unexpected burdens while engaging in continuous, tireless and exceptional efforts in providing education, food and support services to students and families. The board desired to recognize and compensate its employees for the additional commitment of time, effort and service necessary to successfully meet the rigorous goals and obligations required to maintain services throughout the district during this unprecedented time in history.

Patterson explained the one-time payment for employees will come from local funds, with some local monies freed up thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed earlier this year, which provided additional funding for schools and local governments to weather the pandemic. The district was able to shift some expenses for things like cleaning supplies, technology and student health to the CARES funds, which made additional local funds available for the one-time payments.