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Tyler ISD trustees have approved a one-time incentive of $500 for fully vaccinated district employees.

TYLER — Tyler ISD trustees have approved a one-time incentive of $500 for fully vaccinated district employees.

“I do have some concerns,” Superintendent Marty Crawford said Monday. “I have a concern about the illness that’s out there right now (COVID-19). I have some concerns about the lack of vaccination rates we have here in Smith County amongst our adults, of which our teaching staff is made up.”

He said the losses that have come with COVID-19 have been tragic. Many people have lost friends and loved ones, and he wants to do what he can to prevent this.

Crawford said he brought this incentive before the board to consider because he believes having in-person classes throughout the school year is important, but so is the safety of staff and students.

When teachers and staff are able to show up to work, it’s appreciated by everyone, he said, adding that the smiles he has seen on faces during the first week of school proves that everyone is happy that in-person classes have resumed.

“We want to encourage Tyler ISD employees who can be vaccinated against COVID-19 to be vaccinated,” Crawford said. “Participation in the vaccine incentive is entirely voluntary and based on the employees’ personal preferences.”

Employees already vaccinated will also be able to take part in the vaccine incentive program.

Federal stimulus funding will be used to pay for the incentive.

The board also discussed a resolution to provide extended emergency paid sick leave for district employees who are part of the vaccination incentive stipend program.

After discussion, this item was tabled for further consideration at a later date.

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