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Bay District Schools, Union Negotiating Bonuses For Educators Who Didn't Get DeSantis Checks

Bay District Schools
Association of Bay County Educators President Denise Hinson speaks at a school board meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. The meeting was live-streamed and posted on Bay District Schools' website.

Bay County teachers have begun receiving $1,000 checks in the mail, but not all educators qualify for the state bonuses.

Governor Ron DeSantis proposed the bonuses for principals and full-time K-12 classroom teachers before the legislature included them into the state budget.

School Board Member Jerry Register said at Tuesday's meeting he's spoken to teachers who received checks in the mail over the weekend. He asked why guidance counselors, assistant principals and librarians didn't also qualify for the bonuses. "And I don't understand — all these people work together."

Bay District Schools' Superintendent Bill Husfelt responded that the district is negotiating with the Association of Bay County Educators (ABCE), the local teachers' union, to work out bonus payments for educators who didn't qualify under the governor's proposal.

"I know that we have talked about it as a group and it's something that we feel is not fair to all of our teachers," Husfelt said."We're working on it."

The union will resume negotiations with the district next week, said ABCE President Denise Hinson at the meeting. "And we are optimistic that all educators will see a raise this year and teachers who did not qualify for the state's disaster relief bonus will receive a matching bonus through our negotiations."

Valerie Crowder hosts and produces state and local newscasts during All Things Considered. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.