By Richard Sullins |

There may be a little something extra in Santa’s bag for Lee County teachers and substitutes this month, if a proposal advanced Wednesday by the Lee County Schools Finance Committee is approved by the full board on December 14.

Lee County Schools Superintendent Dr. Andy Bryan said the plan would provide an additional $2,000 bonus for all certified and classified staff, and up to $2,000 for substitute teachers, with an amount to be calculated based on the number of days they’ve spent in the classroom.

Substitutes would fall into one of four groupings based on their time of service, with the lowest receiving a $500 bonus, the next group getting $1,000, a third group receiving $1,500, and those with the highest amount of service getting the full $2,000.

Bryan said the district’s finance officer was able to find enough money to fund the bonuses, the second that teachers will have received this year. The board approved bonuses of $2,000 for teachers and staff in October, as well as a bump in longevity pay. Additional increases in pay for bus drivers were made in November.

The plan will cost $3,313,434.60 for all certified and classified employees, and another $170,715.60 for the substitutes. Total costs for the bonuses is $3,484,150.20.

Bryan said he believes it’s “very important for us to retain our employees and also show them appreciation for all their hard work during the school year and the pandemic. This is another way we can do that.”

The board’s next regular meeting is Tuesday, December 14. If the supplemental bonuses are approved that evening, teachers could see it in their bank accounts by Dec. 17.