Atlanta Public Schools offers $3,000 bonus to recruit virtual teachers

Atlanta Public Schools is offering hiring incentives to recruit teachers for its expanding virtual programs. BOB ANDRES /AJC FILE PHOTO

Credit: Bob Andres

Credit: Bob Andres

Atlanta Public Schools is offering hiring incentives to recruit teachers for its expanding virtual programs. BOB ANDRES /AJC FILE PHOTO

Teachers willing to start a new job mid-year with the Atlanta Virtual Academy will receive a $3,000 hiring bonus.

Atlanta Public Schools is dangling the incentive as part of its effort to recruit more teachers to handle the influx of students who asked to switch from in-person to virtual learning.

The district announced the bonus this week. APS also will provide relocation and housing allowances for successful out-of-state candidates.

Starting pay for a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree is $49,048. The district’s salary range goes up to $96,830 for teachers with the most experience and advanced degrees.

APS started this school year in August with more than 600 students attending online classes full-time.

In September, officials reopened the application window to allow more children the chance to move to online learning when the second semester begins in January. Within the application window’s first few weeks, 1,649 students requested to make that switch.

The deadline for students to apply for virtual learning is Friday.

It’s unclear exactly how many teachers APS will need to hire for the virtual expansion. COVID-19 cases have dropped in recent weeks, so some families may opt to remain in-person.

The district reported 82 cases of COVID-19 among students and staff for the week ending Oct. 15, a week that included one student holiday. That’s down from the district’s highest weekly count of more than 400 cases from the week ending Aug. 27.

If APS can’t recruit enough teachers, officials have said they will hold a lottery to select the students that will be admitted to the virtual program.

“If we are able to secure enough staff to meet the need of all the applicants, a lottery process will not be necessary. But if we have a limited number of staff, APS will launch a lottery on Nov. 5,” said Aleigha Henderson-Rosser, assistant superintendent for instructional technology, at a board meeting earlier this month.

If a lottery is held, parents will be notified of their student’s status Nov. 9.

Ryleigh, 10, checks her google document while she and her sister Zoie (not pictured), 9, are homeschooling on Aug. 25, 2021. The parents pulled them out of Kemp Elementary in Cobb County because the district has no mask mandate and they could not enroll in a virtual program. (Hyosub Shin /


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