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Bonuses offered to address hundreds of vacancies in Baltimore County schools

Baltimore County School Superintendent Darryl Williams Credit: John Lee
Baltimore County School Superintendent Darryl Williams Credit: John Lee

Full-time employees of the Baltimore County Public Schools will get a one-time bonus of $1,000 in January. School Superintendent Darryl Williams told the school board Tuesday night it is an incentive to try to keep more employees from quitting.

Williams said this was supposed to be the back to normal school year. It is not.

“Shortages in staff are creating chaos at a time when educators are already struggling with public health imperatives,” Williams said.

School system spokesman Charles Herndon said there are 827 vacancies.

School board members wanted to make sure part timers like lunchroom and kindergarten assistants will get a bonus too.

“Those positions are already the lowest paid people we have in our school system,” board member Lily Rowe said. “Many of them make less than $15 an hour.”

Employees who are not full time will get a bonus, although it might not be the $1,000 the full timers are getting. Those details are still being worked out.

The bonuses are estimated to cost around $21 million and will come from a government emergency relief fund. The school system must get permission from the state to use the money. School officials expect they will be able to get that.

John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County. @JohnWesleyLee2