CHARLOTTE, Mich. — Charlotte Public Schools is moving forward with close to a million dollar plan to recruit and retain staff.
“Staff capacity right now, especially during a pandemic, it’s very difficult to get, teachers and paraprofessionals and bus drivers, and we want to hire as many as people as possible and also retain them,” said Charlotte Public Schools superintendent, Mandy Stewart.
The district will offer a retention bonus to any staff member who was employed as of Dec. 1 and still employed at the end of 2022-2023 school year.
Employees will get the bonus as a onetime payment.
Stewart said the projected cost would be about $980,000 and the money is coming from COVID-19 funds.
“So, it would be leveled to the level of pay that they currently get. So, you know I mean we’re going to have teacher pay, their salary might be higher than maybe an hourly employee,” Stewart said.
She didn’t have the individual amounts staff members would get, but there are a little under 300 employees in the Charlotte Public Schools, meaning the average bonus would be close to $3,000.
There are more than 30 job postings on the district's website.
Stewart said the district has openings in several areas, but has had the most trouble hiring paraprofessionals, food service workers and teachers.
“The few times that we’ve had to shut down the districts it’s usually because of staff capacity. Because we don’t have enough teachers to put in front of students or paraprofessionals to support those teachers," Stewart said. "But again, we can have those issues with transportation, food service, administrative assistants, administrators, everyone’s pitching it but there’s only so much you can do.”
A spokesperson with the Michigan Education Association David Crim said in an email quote "MEA leaders in the Charlotte schools are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to the district’s new retention plan.”