Atlanta Public Schools is launching an effort to help families facing financial hardship due to the partial government shutdown.
APS has a goal of raising $25,000 through a Go Fund Me donation drive. Atlanta Public Schools Chief Human Resources Officer Skye Duckett told WSB Radio "If we don't get to $25,000 fine, we'll take whatever we get."
APS estimates 300-500 of its employees are affected by the shutdown. "We have a very large workforce that have spouses, domestic partners, household members that are in this situation," Duckett said. They are employed by one of the federal agencies that have been closed. Many are on the verge of missing a second paycheck.
Superintendent Meria Carstarphen has donated $1,500 of her own money. The Christian Coleman Foundation donated another $500.
"Many federal employees and contractors, some of them family members of APS employees, are facing the impacts of the federal government shutdown, and we want to do all we can to help," said Carstarphen.
The school district is also encouraging furloughed spouses of APS employees to work as substitute teachers until the shutdown is over. "We are doing a fast track process for federal employees so that we can get them moved through the process a little more quickly," Duckett told WSB.
APS has identified a number of other ways employees can help co-workers impacted by the shutdown:
- Consider setting up Meal Train accounts.
- Drop off food to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
- Take advantage of APS' employee discount program on goods and services.
- Utilize APS' Employee Assistance Program.