By SCOTT TAYLOR/ABC7
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (ABC7) — Last spring Prince George’s County Public Schools was having a tough time attracting new teachers so it offered up to $9,000 in bonuses.
ABC7 has learned that 520 new hires who started in August are still waiting for their bonus checks.
“I am very upset. I am frustrated. I am at my wit’s end. I’ve even considered resigning,” says one unidentified new hire.
We’re hiding the identity of a district employee who says the district has done a poor job of communicating.
“It’s very funny because initially I thought they had the money already and prepared to go but through this process I see that they do not,” says the unidentified new hire.
The bonuses are for bilingual teachers and others assigned to low retention rate schools.
The district admits it’s been sitting on the $1.5 million bonus money since last July.
The Administration says it choose to wait until the end of the second quarter to ensure employees remained but never gave the new hires that info.
The district’s interim Chief Executive Officer Monica Goldson declined to talk to us on camera but after 7 On Your Side started asking questions, the district’s communications officer, Raven Hill, emailed saying eligible employees will receive incentive pay in the next two to three pay periods:
“The 2018-19 school year is the first in several years that Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) offered incentive pay for bilingual teachers and others in high-needs schools, such as those with low retention rates or hard to fill subject areas. Through a $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, PGCPS was able to incentivize early hires in these areas. Eligible employees will receive incentive pay in the next two to three pay periods. The Administration chose to wait until the end of second quarter to ensure employees remained with the system. It is common in both the public and private sectors to ensure employees remain in their positions past the probationary period before receiving additional compensation. Human Resources will contact the employees eligible for incentive pay in the weeks ahead.”
The unidentified new hire says if she had known in August that she wouldn’t receive the bonus money until after the new year, she would have signed on at a different school district.
If the bonus money is not paid out, ABC 7 News will be back with a follow up story.