Atlanta public school officials are offering a $3,000 bonus to try to recruit new teachers for additional virtual classes.
The district announced the hiring bonus recently amid a jump in the number of students seeking online instruction, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Atlanta Public Schools will also provide relocation and housing allowances for successful out-of-state candidates, according to the newspaper. Starting pay in the district for a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree is just over $49,000.
The new hires for the district’s virtual academy would start teaching in the second semester that begins in January. More than 1,600 students asked to switch from in-person instruction to virtual learning for that semester within weeks of the district’s decision last month to reopen the application process for online instruction. The window for those applications closed on Friday.
The district started the school year in August with more than 600 students in its virtual academy, the newspaper reported.
It’s not clear how many additional teachers the district will need. COVID-19 cases in its schools have dropped in recent weeks, so some students may choose to continue in-person classes. But the district has warned that it will have to resort to a lottery system for virtual instruction if it can’t find enough new teachers to meet the expected jump in demand.