SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — The San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees voted to approve a one-time $250 stipend for all employees who receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
The bonus will be paid out in the fall and will apply to all workers who received their vaccine, including retroactive pay to the employees who received their shots prior to the announcement. Employees who opt out of the vaccine due to health or religious reasons will also receive a check.
Employees will have to commit to working the entire 2021/2022 school year or would forfeit their right to the bonus.
Longtime district employee and President of the San Marcos Educators Association Susan Seaton said this incentive program is well within the district’s philosophy of prioritizing student, staff and family safety.
“Our administration cares deeply about our staff and students so that always takes emphasis first and foremost,” Seaton said. “[The incentive program] is to make sure that the people in our district and the students that are around have the safest environment possible.”
Board President Clementine Cantu said the district is not expecting a large enrollment decline this year. The trustees have growing concerns over the increasing possibility of transmission due to the rapidly evolving Delta variant.
“We cannot demand or require it, but the more staff that are vaccianted, the safer our students will be,” Cantu said. “We want to encourage as many people as possible to get their vaccines.”
The board deliberated for more than an hour on the action item, discussing how much each employee should receive and if an amendment, which would simultaneously provide two additional paid sick days to employees, should be approved.
The trustees ultimately voted in favor of granting $250 for each employee’s stipend, but the motion to add additional sick days failed to reach consensus and was killed.
Employees will be required to show proof of vaccination in order to receive their bonus. The paychecks are expected to be delivered in October.
The total amount paid out from the district equates to approximately $300,000. The ultimate source of that funding will be up for further discussion later in the year. Clementine suggested it might come out of the general fund. Other trustees suggested using federal ESSER funds to pay for it.