FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s education department will use up to $8.8 million in federal pandemic relief funding to reward school employees with a one-time $100 payment for getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
The federal money will be used to reimburse Kentucky school districts choosing to offer the incentive to employees who get fully vaccinated, the department said Friday.
All full- and part-time public school district employees are eligible. The incentive applies to employees already vaccinated as well as those who receive full vaccinations by Dec. 1. There’s enough funding to reimburse districts for payments to about 88,000 employees.
“Getting people vaccinated is one of the main ways we’re going to be able to get out of this pandemic and get back into our classrooms as usual,” Education Commissioner Jason Glass said. “We hope this will encourage people to get vaccinated in order to protect their students, colleagues and themselves.”
Districts must first pay employees to receive the reimbursement, the department said.
The incentive program was announced a day after the Republican-led legislature ended a statewide mask mandate for K-12 public schools. The state school board issued the emergency mask regulation last month. The fast-spreading delta variant has forced dozens of school districts to close classrooms because of COVID-19 outbreaks.