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Trustees award one-time retention stipend to all staff

Denton ISD Board of Trustees approved a resolution providing a one-time retention stipend of $500 for all employees employed in Texas Teacher Retirement System (TRS) eligible positions with Denton ISD. The move reflected the gratitude and appreciation for all teachers and staff for the work performed to support student learning and engagement since the onset of the global pandemic.

“I would like to thank all of our staff members who have worked tirelessly to support our students and families during such extraordinary times,” said Jamie Wilson, superintendent of schools. “This is a small gesture for a herculean task."

Funding for the one-time retention payment is provided through the CARES (Coronavirus Assistance Recognition of Effort) Act.  More specifically, the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER I and III) funds provided to the state of Texas by the federal government. 

The district can allocate those funds as needed to address the unfinished learning for the students of Denton ISD. Retention of staff serves to directly improve student learning. Many employees have worked diligently during adverse conditions to continue to provide quality education to the district’s students.

Employees of the district must meet certain eligibility requirements to be eligible for the retention stipend.  For example, employees must be employed in a TRS eligible position with Denton ISD, as defined by TRS, and on the district payroll as of May 27, 2021, and have indicated their intent to return to Denton ISD for the 2021-2022 school year. 

For those leaving the district this summer by retirement, if they were employed and on the district payroll from November 1, 2020, through May 27, 2021, and have submitted their retirement paperwork to the district, they will receive the one-time retention stipend.

The Denton ISD Payroll Department will run a separate deposit that will disperse to those eligible after the June 20 payroll deposit date.

There are currently 4,300 employees eligible for the stipend, totaling $2.15 million dollars. Disbursement of the one-time retention stipend to all eligible employees will be made no later than June 25.

“I was talking to some teachers in our community about the potential $500 retention stipend recently and they were excited,” said Trustee Barbara Burns. “Several of them expressed what that additional money would do for them this summer and they were so appreciative. This is well deserved."