A new stimulus check as part of a fourth wave of direct payments won’t be coming from the federal government anytime soon. The kickoff of the federal child tax credit payments, which will deliver six monthly stimulus checks to Americans through December, pretty much ensures that. It’s no doubt a tough political challenge to make a case for new stimulus checks when the country is already in the midst of… well, distributing checks, and will be doing so for several more months.
What’s being sent out now is the result of chopping up the expanded federal child tax credit into six pieces — this is what’s coming as six separate checks. The slim-to-none chance of a fourth stimulus payment, though? That’s just at the federal level. Check out what some states have taken it upon themselves to do in the meantime.
New stimulus check — $1,000 “thank you” payment
Whether or not you want to get into semantics and call this a fourth stimulus check, a handful of states are sending out new payments. Payments that, yes, sequentially count as #4. Teachers in some states are getting stimulus funds handed out as a “thank you” bonus, to improve morale. In states like Georgia, Tennessee, California, Colorado and Texas.
Georgia was the quickest off the blocks in terms of this new effort. State officials OK’d these $1,000 “thank you” bonuses to nearly all 230,000 school employees in the state. Including teachers, per a Wall Street Journal report, as well as aides, custodians, bus drivers and more. The tab for those bonuses topped $230 million, which was around 35% of the $660.6 million that Georgia got in federal coronavirus stimulus money.
Clock is ticking
One reason states are deciding to push new stimulus check money out the door like this, in a very specific form, is because states only have three more years in which to spend their stimulus cash. In Georgia, the state board of education signed off on the bonuses in March.
Other states may likely decide to allocate stimulus funding in the same way. As “thank you” payments to employees. Sure, we’ll give you a bonus, in other words — it’s not even our money, anyway, it’s from the federal government. Likewise, Florida is giving $1,000 of these bonuses to 170,000 teachers there. And in Berkeley, California, teachers there will get a bonus equal to 3.5% of their salary.
As you might imagine, meanwhile, this has caused no small degree of angst in some areas where these stimulus bonuses are being handed out. In Florida, for example, 130,000 non-teacher school employees are miffed they aren’t getting the bonus. And some parents have complained the money should be for other things instead. Like helping to improve student outcomes.