The Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Board of Trustees approved a certified teacher incentive of $4,000 for each new hire or rehire of secondary science teachers for the 2021-22 school year during a special-call board meeting Monday morning.
The board passed this incentive with the intent to employ educators in high-need areas. Public Information Officer
Nicole Thomas said at this time SOCSD has only identified seventh-12th-grade science as a high-demand field.
“One of our goal areas in our strategic plan is human resources, and one of those strategies is recruitment and retention,” Thomas said. “Science is a high-need area, not just in Starkville, but in other school districts.”
Every science teacher in grades 7-12 who is returning for the 2021-22 school year, as well as any new hires, will be eligible for the $4,000 incentive. Hires who live 50 miles or more from Starkville and would have to relocate are eligible for an additional $1,000 as a relocation expense reimbursement.
The funding is through Title II federal funds. Incentives will be issued as a one-time lump-sum payment at the end of the pay period for September 2021, Thomas said.
“The incentive package allows the District to be competitive in recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers who are licensed and certified in the area of science,” Superintendent Eddie Peasant said in a message to The Dispatch.
The school board on Monday also approved a new 10-year special obligation bond for $7 million to fund capital improvements throughout the district.
This bond will pay for improvements for urgent building priorities, including renovations and repairs to HVAC systems, roofing and electrical upgrades.
The board’s resolution of intent is to borrow $7.5 million. District and federal funds will supplement additional revenue to support the proposed total for the capital improvement plan of $8.1 million.
The bond issue will not require a tax increase.