DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As most Dallas ISD schools prepare to reopen Monday, the district has announced it will pay $500 to any staff that’s been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“We know that if a person is vaccinated, the chances of contracting COVID and spreading that at school is decreased,” said Robert Abel, Dallas ISD’s deputy chief over human capital management.

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Employees who can show proof of vaccination by Nov. 15 will get the one time bonus added to their paycheck.

“Teachers, cafeteria workers, administrative assistants, custodians, they are all excited,” said Rena Honea, president of the Alliance AFT union. “This is something that many of our employees feel is long overdue, but also it will encourage people to go ahead and receive the vaccination to provide that extra layer of protection.”

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The district isn’t certain how many of its employees have received a COVID vaccine. In a voluntary survey over the summer, about 65% responded they had, but the district expects the actual number is higher.

National teachers unions have estimated among educators nationwide the vaccination rate is more like 90%.

If every employee takes advantage, it’ll cost the district $11 million dollars. The district says, that’s exactly what it’s hoping for.

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“The goal of the program to make sure we provide the safest learning environment for our students,” said Abel.