The coronavirus pandemic has unapologetically wreaked havoc on school districts across the country, and it is no different in Copperas Cove.

As case numbers rapidly climb, it is taking its toll on teachers and bus drivers.

To help with retention and recruitment as there are increased absences due to COVID-19, the Copperas Cove ISD school board will consider pay increases for substitute teachers and bus drivers in its Tuesday meeting.

The district is requesting a pay increase of $30 per full day and $15 per half day for substitute teachers.

The requested changes are listed below:

  • Teacher without a degree: $105 full day; $52.50 half day
  • Teacher with a bachelor’s degree: $115 full day; $57.50 half day
  • SBEC certified teacher: $125 full day; $62.50 half day
  • Long-term teacher with a degree: $130 per day
  • Long-term teacher SBEC certified: $180 per day

District officials said they do not anticipate this having a financial impact on the district due to the substitute shortages.

If there is an impact, the district will use recently awarded federal grant money to cover it.

Bus drivers

District officials said that surrounding districts have increased pay for their bus drivers by amounts that leaves Copperas Cove ISD noncompetitive in recruitment and retention.

To combat this, the district is recommending an increase of starting pay to $18 per hour and adjust current driver wages accordingly. This would be an increase of nearly $3.50 per hour. Currently, the starting pay for bus drivers is $14.56 per hour.

The district is also requesting an increase in retention bonus from $250 to $500. Bus drivers would receive a $250 bonus after 30 days of active employment during the fall semester and a $250 bonus after 30 days of active employment during the spring semester.

District officials estimate this would cost the district around $230,000.

Other items

The board of trustess is also expected to consider:

  • Intent to apply for the Texas COVID Learning Acceleration Supports (T-CLAS) Grant
  • Take action on a request for sanctions for teacher abandonment of contract

The regular meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the board room of the administration building, 408 S. Main St., Copperas Cove.

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