Bonuses coming for Cedar Rapids school staff to compensate for “systemic” shortages

A teacher shortage in the West Delaware Community School District, and across the state, is putting stress on school staff.
Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 2:40 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Cedar Rapids Community School Board on Monday approved bonuses to compensate school staff for ongoing staff shortages and challenges from the Pandemic.

The bonus payments will go out this week. All full-time staff and anyone with a position of more than half-time (.51 Full-Time Equivalent) will get a $750 bonus while everyone else will get a $500 bonus.

Superintendent Noreen Bush said the bonuses are compensation for the extra workload on staff from a shortage of workforce and substitutes she attributed to the Pandemic.

“Due to the number of open positions and substitute shortage across all positions in our school district, our current CRCSD staff members have had to take on more in order to serve students every day,” Bush said in a statement to TV9. “The substitute shortages and workforce concerns are systemic--they stretch beyond our school district--and are a direct result of the pandemic. Therefore, the workload placed upon our employees is a result of that. We are compensating our employees for this workload; we will use our ESSER allocation for this purpose.”

The district is using federal funding from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Act Congress passed earlier this year. So far, the district has spent about $35.8 million of the nearly $50 million it received in ESSER funds.

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