BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Most Battle Creek Public School employees are compensated for snow days, but not all, which made things tough for some during severe winter weather.
Student Success Specialist Anastasha Outman was back at Springfield Middle School doing what she loves, teaching kids coping skills, resilience, and pushing them forward. Things she missed during ten snow days in Battle Creek.
"The first one's always like, 'Yay, we get to go sledding and hang out, and have a day off,' but once it's four, five, eight, nine, ten days, it starts to become quite daunting," said Student Success Specialist Anastasha Outman.
As an hourly employee, she isn't paid on snow days and, like many other employees, Outman was contracted through EDUstaff.
What was I going to cut out and not be able to afford for these next couple of weeks? What were my kids going to have to go without?
Recognizing the hardship 10 days without pay can be, the school board passed a resolution.
"We recognize that this is not going to happen all the time, but this time, we see you, and we appreciate you," said Superintendent Kimberly Carter.
The district gave out stipends to hourly employees, like Outman, which amounted to about 80 percent of what their pay would have been.
"When I realized i was going to be getting basically my whole paycheck, I was just really moved. I was very appreciative," Outman said.
Other districts have their own policies.
Harper Creek Community Schools pay hourly employees for two to three snow days, depending on the employee. After nine snow days this year, the district discussed adding more paid days.
Outman said gestures to help the people she said work as hard as the teachers go a long way.
"It's not something they had to do. It's something that they decided to do, and that meant a lot to me. I cried," she said.
In total, Battle Creek Public Schools gave out nearly $31,000 to more than 100 hourly and contracted workers. Most of it was covered by state and federal grants.