HENDERSON, Texas (KETK) – Henderson ISD is providing a stipend for teachers to help offset the cost of internet services due to the COVID-19 crisis during the spring semester. The stipend was approved unanimously during an emergency board meeting on Monday afternoon.
“I was contacted by Mr. Butler (Chairman of the HISD School Board) about looking at an
additional stipend,” said Superintendent Dr. Thurston Lamb. “I thought that was a great idea
because we are requiring teachers to spend an increased amount of time on the internet and
they often use their personal cell phones.”
Lamb said teachers are having to use additional internet data as they work from home to prepare and distribute lesson plans to students, meet with school administrators and teachers, and communicate with parents.
“This has been a very trying time for lots of people, especially teachers,” Butler told the board.
“And if there is any support we as a board can give teachers right now, we need to do it.”
The board approved the stipend for teachers and long-term substitutes filling vacant positions. It will cover $100 per month for March, April, and May. Lamb said the total cost is expected to be around $76,000 and will be paid for with funds leftover in the transportation budget.
Butler explained that the stipend is only temporary but the board may consider extending it during a future meeting. When asked about internet availability in the district, Lamb said the school is working to create “hotspots” around the district where both students and teachers can park and use the internet for distance learning.