Atlanta Public Schools to give employees $1,000 stipend

About 6,500 Atlanta Public Schools’ employees will receive a $1,000 one-time payment in December.

The payments plus the district’s share of related payroll taxes will cost APS roughly $7.5 million. Money will come from a $30.5 million spend-down of rainy day funds approved by the school board earlier this month.

District officials said the payment is a way to show appreciation for teachers and other employees who did not receive raises this year because of budget uncertainties. APS increased its minimum wage this year from $12.70 an hour to $15 an hour, but that led to raises for only about 1,000 employees.

Skye Duckett, chief human resources officer, said teachers and other employees have paid out of their own pockets for boosted Internet service, childcare and some supplies while the district does virtual schooling.

“[We’re] just trying to send a strong message that they matter,” she said.

Active, full-time employees and those who work at least 29 hours a week are eligible for the payment. With about 6,500 employees expected to receive the benefit, Duckett said the effort is one of the district’s broadest payments of its kind.

APS is not the only district to approve one-time payments for employees during the pandemic. About 12,000 eligible Gwinnett County Public Schools’ employees will receive $700 next month.

The APS payment will be included in workers’ Dec. 15 paychecks.