DeSoto ISD to give $3k bonus to all current, new employees

In an effort to reward and retain teachers, school districts continue to offer bonuses and incentives for better pay.

DeSoto ISD is giving a $3,000 bonus for all current and new employees. Beyond that, there are even more ways teachers can get much larger checks this year.

"We are going to pay $3,000 to new and returning employees who are making a difference and that is everyone in our organization," said Mia Story, DeSoto ISD Chief of Human Resources.

DeSoto ISD is using the state's school emergency relief grant fund to reward each of its employees this year -- ranging from the custodians and food service workers to the teachers and principals. 

"Everyone in the system is a difference maker," Story said.

It means teachers just out of college also have the opportunity this year to see checks like never before. 

"To make $61,000 directly out of college is almost unheard of," Story said.

For teachers who help students make significant gains, performance pay could add another $10,000 to their salaries. Master teachers could get bonuses of up to $29,000. The district wants two per school to help students who slid the most during the pandemic. 

"They’re individuals proven to assist in higher achievement, need three years’ experience to be considered and will focus on those students for a year to bring up their achievement," Story said.

Dallas ISD is working to hire 300 teachers for the new school year. 

"We are excited. We’re going to host our first in person event since March of last year," said Sandra Baptista, Dallas ISD student-teacher coordinator.

The state's new performance pay structure focuses on student growth over just high achievement scores. That will help reward teachers in schools hit hardest by the pandemic.