OPS offers stipend to encourage retention, recruiting

Rewarding loyalty is at the center of the plan to keep the district moving forward.
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 4:54 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Nearly 500 teachers and staff left Omaha Public Schools this year and another 97 have retired.

As of now, 230 certificated positions remain unfilled.

So superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan and the school board want employees to know that a little help is coming in the form of stipends, each of the next two years, pending approval.

“(The stipends) will be $4,500 for a full-time staff and two thousand two hundred and fifty dollars for part-time staff who work more than twenty hours a week,” Logan said at a press conference detailing the plan.

Rewarding loyalty is at the center of the plan to keep the district moving forward.

Omaha Public Schools is trying to stem the tide of staff members leaving.

”We realize that this absolutely is not the end all be all and we still have greater work to do,” said OPS board president Dr. Shavonna Holman. “But we hope that this is a step forward in demonstrating our commitment and appreciation for every single staff member employed by the district, for them demonstrating their commitment to our district and to our students and families.”

The stipend plan will be presented to the board for approval Monday. It will then go before the state and national departments of education, and if approved, should be in place by the start of the coming school year.

The money, freed up by using some federal funds originally slated for infrastructure, could provide layers of relief, as a tool for retention and recruitment...

”Everybody is doing more work with less people,” Logan said. “It doesn’t matter the office, doesn’t matter the division, there are less people who are working and we certainly see that in the Omaha Public Schools. We also realize, too, and the reason that we went with two years rather than just one is that this is going to be a long-term issue.”

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