The stipends were approved unanimously during the RISD board’s Jan. 11 meeting. RISD staff said the one-time stipends will appear on the next paycheck for each of the district’s estimated 6,000 employees. Full-time eligible employees will receive $750 stipends, and part-time eligible employees will receive $375.
“This retention stipend is to recognize and to support all of our employees as they serve in their important roles as a public servant of supporting all of our students and all the many ways that they are doing that,” Superintendent Jeannie Stone said.
Stone explained to be eligible for the stipends, employees had to be in an allocated position on Sept. 8, which was the first day of in-person instruction, and on Jan. 4, which was the beginning of the second semester.
The district also gave employees a 1% raise at the beginning of the school year as well as a stipend for school supplies, according to Board Member Kim Caston, who serves as the board treasurer.
Board member Eron Linn said he supported the stipend with his “whole heart” and only regretted it could not be for a higher amount. That sentiment was echoed by several other board members.
“Our teachers and staff deserve every single penny of this stipend for the work they've done over the last seven-eight months,” Linn said. “I cannot express my gratitude enough for their willingness to go above and beyond to teach our kids, whether it's in person or virtually.”
RISD Chief Financial Officer David Pate explained that employees who are paid on a monthly basis will see the stipend on their Jan. 20 paychecks, while those paid bi-weekly will see the stipend on their Jan. 22 paychecks.