Call it a sign of the times and the economy we live in.  The Superior School Board has okayed the paying of retention bonuses to all staff - full time and part time - to help to keep them through the end of the year.  The bonuses will be applied to each of the staff members - from teachers to general staffers - on their December 24 paycheck.

Each full time staff member will receive about $900 on that check; those who work less than 30 hours per week will receive $450.

Obviously, the aim and intent is to make it more attractive for employees to stay with the Superior School District instead of searching out other offers elsewhere.  Competition in the job market is fierce - with many businesses and industries offering elevated wages to attract and keep their employees.

Superior Middle School sign - Superior School District in Superior, WI
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

It's unfortunate, but the easy availability of  growing wages has had an impact on the district and students.  Superior School District Administrator Amy Starzecki explains:

"I think it is important people understand the greatest challenge facing our school is the shortage in workforce.  This is an attempt to address this issue, as well as recognize the hard work of our staff this year."

Funding for the holiday retention bonuses came primarily from federal Coronavirus relief dollars.  According to details related by the Superior Telegram [paywall], $110 million was appointed to schools throughout the state. "Each district was awarded additional aid of $133 per student based on its three year rolling average".  Using those metrics, the Superior School District "received $587,826 and directed it to the bonuses".

So what happens if a staff member who receives the retention bonus leaves before the school year is through?  June 7, 2022 is the specified target date associated with the funds.  Those employees who leave the Superior School District prior to that date would be required to pay it back.

Superior High School sign - Superior School District in Superior, WI
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

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