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Pueblo District 60 giving vaccinated teachers a $1k stipend

KRDO

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO)-- There's a big check going into the bank accounts of some staff in Pueblo's School District 60. Monday, District 60 employees received an email saying some would receive a $1,000 incentive stipend if they were fully vaccinated by Nov. 10. For unvaccinated staff, however, they won't see a dollar of that bonus. 

The district told KRDO the $1,000 is being called an incentive stipend for keeping classrooms safe.

"We find ourselves in a pretty unique situation, and this is just one way that we can tell our teachers, thank you for being responsible, [for doing] their best to provide a safe and healthy environment where we can teach in person," District 60 spokesperson Dalton Sprouse said.

For vaccinated teachers, it's a great surprise during the holiday season.

"I was putting a timer on my phone for my students and saw that there were emails, so I picked up my phone, saw the email, and got really excited," Jeanette Valdez said with a grin.

Valdez teaches at Minnequa Elementary School. That email she saw was the announcement from District 60, telling her she was getting $1,000 for being vaccinated.

She says the payout is a nice gesture, but in her eyes, getting the vaccine was a no-brainer.

"I did it because I wanted to be safe for kids here at this school. Our kids are what comes first," Valdez said. "I did not want to be out of the classroom and I did not want them to be out of the classroom."

According to the district, the money for the bonus comes from leftover COVID relief funding. District 60 received roughly $43 million from the American Rescue Plan fund.

While many teachers are excited about the incentive, some non-vaccinated teachers told KRDO they don't think it was fair they were left out.

"It was like a slap in the face to me," Janet Hidalgo, who says she is unvaccinated for medical reasons, told KRDO. "It's not easy work in education. We don't get paid enough right now. So to dangle $1,000 over somebody's face saying 'get your vaccine' is bribery to me."

Right now, District 60 does not have a vaccine mandate in place.

For unvaccinated staff who are willing to get vaccinated now, Sprouse says there will be a second opportunity for teachers to show proof of vaccination and get the stipend at a later date. Additional information will be sent to staff in January 2022.

Hourly and temporary employees are currently excluded from this incentive, except for ISS Supervisors.

Author Profile Photo

Spencer Soicher

Spencer is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.

Comments

11 Comments

  1. Timing is a little off, no? We vaccinated because it was the best bet to keep the community spread down at the time, but now it’s looking with the new variant like it would be better to catch the milder COVID strains and get a wider natural immunity. Once you’ve got that immunity you can get additional with the vaccine, but those with just vaccine immunity are likely to spread the omicron variant more, not less. I wonder if Pueblo will give a bonus to teachers that caught and tested positive for COVID already? They almost certainly, in this situation, are “safer” for the clas sroom.

    1. I so agree with your comment, and I am sick of the unequal treatment of people in our society.
      I would love to see Booster Biden get a really bad case of VED Covid, so maybe he might have second thoughts about being a medical dictator. As for the woman who said it was a “no-brainer”- that is HER personal decision. IT should be for all. The more they inject-the more they infect. When I went to first grade I did not need to take any vaccines as our family doctor diagnosed us with the most common viruses of childhood and gave us a letter for the school saying we already had diseases, otherwise vaccinated for. I have never gotten chickenpox measles, rubella because I had them as a child. I think they should take all that money and spend it on testing vaccinated teachers who may unknowingly may be spreading to the kids because they don’t know they are sick. And if the shots really worked this would not be an issue.

  2. Bravo D60. Now let’s as a system, charge the unvaccinated higher health care costs. They are the reason the ICU’s are filled. Get a vaccine. You might get a little CoVID, but it won’t kill you, or put you in the ICU. Why should the educated continue to pay for the uneducated?

    1. Once again…you have no idea about facts and you can’t prove the “science”. Why don’t you do a bit of research on your own about vaccinated vs. unvaccinated and the real numbers cwa. And you talking about uneducated?. Slow your roll! By the way…the system we have in place now is perfect for you and your continued babblings…you voted for them. Now prove your comment without some childish off the cuff remark.

      1. Richie….I like you. You’re funny. Indeed in my line of work, I get to make rounds through the ICU, and I am forced to record many a fact. Currently, in the ICU at all three Penrose facilities, including the 48 extra beds forced into ICU, 98.7% of CoVID ICU patients are unvaccinated. Thanks to your support of socialized medicine, we all get to pay for the extreme ICU costs which would otherwise not be necessary if said parents were vaccinated. Furthermore, the pending actuarial increases in all of our health care will be evident to you soon. You see, Richie, it’s like when hail hits the Springs three times in three years, your homeowner’s insurance rates increase. It’s really mathematically unavoidable, but the healthcare cost increase is…It’s not Rocket-Surgery there Rich. Do you have any further hunches you’d like to try to substantiate, because truly, the more you type, the dumber you sound…
        Have a nice day Kitten, and thank you for your support for socialized medicine by choosing not to get vaccinated.

  3. Richie….I like you. You’re funny. Indeed in my line of work, I get to make rounds through the ICU, and I am forced to record many a fact. Currently, in the ICU at all three Penrose facilities, including the 48 extra beds forced into ICU, 98.7% of CoVID ICU patients are unvaccinated. Thanks to your support of socialized medicine, we all get to pay for the extreme ICU costs which would otherwise not be necessary if said parents were vaccinated. Furthermore, the pending actuarial increases in all of our health care will be evident to you soon. You see, Richie, it’s like when hail hits the Springs three times in three years, your homeowner’s insurance rates increase. It’s really mathematically unavoidable, but the healthcare cost increase is…It’s not Rocket-Surgery there Rich. Do you have any further hunches you’d like to try to substantiate, because truly, the more you type, the dumber you sound…
    Have a nice day Kitten, and thank you for your support for socialized medicine by choosing not to get vaccinated.

    1. I have to do this in binary…I hope you can read it cwa. I like you too! Awwww…those silly facts cwa. Thanks for providing your facts. You and Check need to both continue with your side of the story as long as you can.
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  4. Who knows sd60 had do much extra cash lying around. You want to charge unvaccinated people higher insurance rates? How about the obese, or the smokers,? Seems like they run up insurance costs too.

  5. 18-8-302. Bribery
    (1) A person commits the crime of bribery, if:
    (a) He offers, confers, or agrees to confer any pecuniary benefit upon a public servant with the intent to influence the public servant’s vote, opinion, judgment, exercise of discretion, or other action in his official capacity; or
    (b) While a public servant, he solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any pecuniary benefit upon an agreement or understanding that his vote, opinion, judgment, exercise of discretion, or other action as a public servant will thereby be influenced.
    (2) It is no defense to a prosecution under this section that the person sought to be influenced was not qualified to act in the desired way, whether because he had not yet @ssumed office, lacked jurisdiction, or for any other reason.
    (3) Bribery is a cl@ss 3 felony.

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