Houston, TX

Houston Independent School District board approves one-time stipend for vaccinated employees

Marisol Gallagher

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HOUSTON, TX — The Board of Education of the Houston Independent School District has approved a stipend program that will give employees who show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination a one-time $500 stipend. The Board approved this program on Thursday along with approving additional leave time if employees need it for COVID-19-related self-quarantine.

In order to receive the stipend, employees must submit the proof of their vaccination to the Health and Medical Services no later than November 19, 2021. Further guidelines for this program will be shared later.

Superintendent Millard House II said that the best tool to fight the COVID-19 pandemic is vaccination, and as the vaccination rates increase, the community will be better protected. Further, House expressed his gratitude for the Board of Education’s approval of this incentive, in hopes that it will encourage more members of the staff to get vaccinated.

It is entirely voluntary for employees to participate in the vaccine stipend program. More details regarding locations and assistance for the vaccination can be found on this page. HoustonEmergency.org/covid-19-vaccines and ReadyHarris.org.

Employees who can not receive vaccination due to medical reasons can also receive the stipend by submitting the proper documentation. The stipend will be paid for all participating employees through the district ESSER funds.

Additionally, the Board of Education also approved COVID-19 leave of up to 10 days for the 2021-2022 school year for all employees who are fully vaccinated, those who are medically unable to receive the vaccinations, or those who are restricted by religious exceptions.

To qualify, proof of vaccination or medical exemption must be submitted. Employees who cannot get the vaccinations due to religious reasons must request religious exceptions through HISD’s religious accommodation committee. Lastly, the personal leave must be used to isolate due to COVID-19 for employees who are not vaccinated.

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