By Richard Sullins |

The Lee County Board of Education on Tuesday adopted a plan put forth by Superintendent Dr. Andy Bryan to compensate teachers in middle and high schools for covering classes during their planning periods for colleagues who are out of work due to COVID.

“One of our core values has always been the ‘do whatever it takes to educate children’ attitude,” Bryan said. “That attitude has never been more obvious than during COVID. Covering someone else’s classes is a really heavy responsibility.”

The plan, which will continue through the end of the current school year, would pay those teachers at a rate equal to $25 per hour, the same rate paid to tutors. Bryan said because the length of classes varies, the amount of coverage needed can range from as few as 30 to as many as 90 minutes. The Classroom Coverage plan will be paid from federal funds coming from the Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund provided under the CARES Act that was passed during the Trump administration.

The vote to adopt the plan was unanimous.