The Brownsville Independent School District Board of Trustees has approved a one-time payment of $400 to all full-time employees as bonus compensation for working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board approved the compensation by a unanimous vote at a special-called meeting Tuesday, saying the payment was in recognition for working on the front lines during the pandemic. The payment is for all full-time employees as of Aug. 25, the first day of the current school year.

Superintendent Rene Gutierrez said the payment also includes some part-time employees who work on a Monday-Friday basis. He added that he and his staff have been working on what was possible for about a month and that he would exclude himself from the payment since he was the one making the proposal. The payment will be distributed during the current pay period.

Board members also pointed out that teachers received a $2,000 pay raise this year.

In other business, the board approved a resolution supporting the superintendents of the Texas Urban Council prioritizing the initial distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for educators. The council urged Gov. Greg Abbott in a Sept. 1 letter to prioritize the initial distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for deployment to teachers, principals and staff as front line workers. The resolution supports that request.