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TIFTON—The Tift County Board of Education approved a COVID-19 vaccination initiative for Tift County School employees.

Approved Thursday during the school board meeting, the initiative will provide a $500 bonus to any Tift County Schools employee vaccinated by the end of December.

Marilyn Burks, school board vice chairwoman, raised the incentive for discussion, asking that the measure be debated and motioned for approval during the meeting.

Rusty Harrelson, District 6 school board representative, expressed approval for moving forward with the incentive at the meeting, citing his preference to enforce vaccine incentives. He suggested money from ARP ESSER funds could be used for the incentives.

Burks agreed with Harrelson, stating the incentive would help make schools safer. District 5 Representative Sam Wright also supported moving ahead with the plan.

The incentive plan was approved with a majority vote.

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