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Horry County School Board votes to give more money to substitute employees, contact tracers

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 6:00 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The Horry County Board of Education voted in favor of changing how it’s spending some of the federal money given to the district.

The school board voted to make changes to its proposed spending plan for the American Rescue Plan: Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief also known as ESSER III.

The school district must use $125.2 million allocated by the federal government for fiscal year 2021-22, fiscal year 2022-23 and fiscal year 2023-24.

One of the amendments to the proposed spending plan is to give substitute employees more money since they are needed more than ever this year due to teachers and staff being in quarantine.

Currently, a substitute teacher with a bachelor’s degree gets $100 a day this year. Now according to the proposed spending plan, substitute employees will receive an extra $10 a day if they work five or more days per month. About $312,000 from the proposed HVAC upgrades will toward funding the pay increase for substitute employees.

The board will take about $2.2 million of the ESSER III funds and pay those who have helped with contact tracing investigations in the district.

“Administrative staff, transportation staff, data quality clerks, secretaries/bookkeepers, school nurses, and other professional staff have spent countless hours conducting close contact investigations and providing quarantine notifications to parents of students identified as close contacts,” the school board agenda states.

The administration recommended that staff who are salaried and work beyond their normal work schedule to help with COVID-19 contact tracing duties should be paid $40 per hour. Those who work hourly are already paid for the extra time that they work.

School leaders will take the estimated $2.2 million needed to pay contact tracers from the HVAC upgrades funding.

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