If everything goes as it should, Tipton County’s teachers and staff will see a bonus in February.

This week the Tipton County Finance Committee and the Tipton County School Board voted to allocate of $1.3 million in school board funding for one-time bonuses for staff members. The proposal would give $1,000 to full-time, certified staff members and $750 to full-time classified staff members.

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In a press release, Tipton County Executive Jeff Huffman said it was not acceptable to “ask educators to work under duress and not provide at least some additional reward for their efforts.”

The State of Tennessee originally proposed a 2.5 percent raise for teachers but withdrew it due to uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

“The dedicated teachers, administrators, and support personnel who are charged with educating our children have done so this year under extraordinarily difficult circumstances,” Huffman said. “They come to work knowing the threat of the virus to themselves and their families. Policy and guideline uncertainty are always present. Making adjustments based on what the virus does is frustrating. I am so incredibly proud of our educators during these trying times. And so, it seems altogether fitting and proper to make sure the men and women working for the Tipton County School System know that Tipton County Government supports them and appreciates them.”

Tipton County Superintendent John Combs said faculty and staff members have risen to the challenge of an unbelievable year.

“They’ve done some really good things – all of them, every staff member we have. For those full-time who’ve been here really digging in, especially, I wanted to reward them with something I thought would show appreciation for that.”

Next month Combs will have to go before the county’s finance committee, then the county commission will have to vote to approve it. If approved, teachers will receive the separate deposit with their February pay.

“I think they deserve every bit of it, myself,” school board chairman Marty Burlison said. “They’ve really stepped up, everyone has, and it shows. We’re doing great and our kids are doing well.”

Other board members agreed, complimenting the diligence of Tipton County’s teachers and staff members.

“I’ve talked to a few teachers and to a lot of parents and they can’t understand how we keep this stuff going,” said board member Richard Joyner. “They’re in a battle from one week to the next. Whatever we give them they deserve that and possibly more.”