The average cost of 10% of tuition, fees and books for a student on a Bachelor’s Degree scholarship is $210 for 6 credits each semester. But don’t write that check yet! For sponsors of employees working 30 or more hours per week, we will issue a release time reimbursement of $528 (3 hours x $11/hour x 16 weeks) to help cover the cost of providing paid release time each semester. This would bring the sponsor balance to $-318, or a check back for $318. If the sponsor is eligible for a Star Rating Stipend, an additional $150 credit would be applied, bringing that check total to $468 each semester.
***These cost estimates are based on AVERAGE tuition rates for Associate and Bachelor level courses. They are in not a guarantee of an expected dollar amount***
As a sponsor or potential sponsor, you may recognize the importance of paid release time, but you also may be challenged with how to balance this requirement with your need for full staffing in your programs. Below are some creative solutions that can help with the struggle of providing paid release time and increase the likelihood that your teachers are successful in school.
- Offer release time during rest time so scholarship recipients can study or use the center’s computer for papers and class projects.
- Schedule release time at a time when teacher:child ratios go down. Scholarship recipients can leave work early with pay and, if necessary, other qualified staff can substitute.
- Allow scholarship recipients to come in late or leave early while receiving usual pay.
- Pay scholarship recipients for their lunch breaks. But remember, recipients cannot work over 40 hours without overtime pay.
- Hire a substitute to specifically cover T.E.A.C.H. recipients’ leave time. This usually works best for centers that sponsor several employees.
- Bank leave time and give scholarship recipients a whole day off before a major test, or give them half days off so it is easier to bring in a substitute.
- Use release time reimbursements to help with other T.E.A.C.H. related costs. Center reimbursements can be used to help pay for a compensation raise or bonus
Remember: Sponsors have complete flexibility for how release time is managed within their early childhood setting. But under no circumstances should providing release time be done at the detriment of maintaining appropriate teacher:child ratios. Don’t forget you can always contact your T.E.A.C.H. Counselor to discuss release time strategies. Your program may qualify for a Release Time waiver if the scholarship recipient has voluntarily waived their right to release time.