SDUSD Approves Hazard Pay, Grade Protection; Requests Federal Emergency Funding

It was the district board's first remote meeting since social distancing protocols were put in place.

The San Diego Unified School District headquarters.
NBC 7/Ashley Matthews

The San Diego Unified School District board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve hazard pay for employees and grade protection for students, and to request $200 billion in emergency funding from legislators for campuses across the nation.

Hazard pay will benefit employees who have served or will serve as disaster workers, like school staff who have helped distribute computers and meals to students amid the coronavirus shutdown.

Those employees will receive time-and-and-a-half pay, retroactive to March 16 when the shutdown began.

Grade protection for students means that children within the district cannot be issued grades lower than what they had earned prior to their schools closing. Graded instruction for most students in the district begins April 27.

Lastly, the board approved a call on federal lawmakers to provide $200 billion in initial emergency financial support to schools nationwide to help "stabilize public education in light of the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis."

It's estimated that $350 billion will be needed for public schools over the next two years.

“These funds are not a wish list. They’re a needs list,” Board Vice President Richard Barrera said in a statement. “In the months and years ahead, public school students should not have to bear the overwhelming brunt of this emergency. They deserve to have their education valued and protected by lawmakers.”

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