CADDO PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Caddo Parish School Board unanimously voted Tuesday to approve up to $2,500 per district employee as a thank you for their work during a difficult school year.

The Caddo Hero Incentive Plan is estimated to cost $15.5 million and will be funded primarily through federal stimulus dollars the Caddo school district says. Both full-time and substitute employees are eligible for the incentive. It is designed to recognize and reward employees for their efforts to create and maintain safe learning environments and to support in-person instruction.

“Our dedicated employees have faced obstacles many others cannot understand in the interest of ensuring our students had access to the highest quality teaching and learning. To make that a reality, they have worked long hours and gone above and beyond in the interest of student safety and commitment to educational excellence. The nearly 5,000 employees who comprise our district are among the most hard-working and passionate individuals I have ever had the pleasure to know and I am thankful to our Board for unanimously supporting an opportunity to thank our staff for what they do every day in the interest of children.”

Dr. T. Lamar Goree, Superintendent of Caddo Schools

Full-time employees will receive an incentive payment of $1,250 per semester if they are actively employed on the last day of the semester. Employees who resign or are terminated are not eligible for payment. Employees on approved leaves for the 2021-2022 school year are eligible if they report to work during the year.

“The professionalism shown by our employees amid the stresses they have had to contend with has been admirable,” Board President John Albritton said in a statement released Wednesday by the district. “While a token of appreciation, it is well-deserved and our employees are to be commended for all they have done for children.”

Substitute employees, both long-term and day-to-day, are also eligible for the incentive using the same payment schedule as full-time employees. For long-term substitutes who are filling declared teaching vacancies, they must be available full-time substitutes on the last day of each semester to qualify for $1,250 per semester. Day-to-day substitutes will receive $10 per day worked during the school year. To qualify, day-to-day substitutes must have worked 86 days, but payments may not exceed $2,500. Student-workers do not qualify for this incentive.

Payments will be dispersed in January and June 2022.