Hundreds Of North Carolina Teachers Ordered To Return Over $280k In Bonuses Received

Aiexpress – About 300 teachers in a school district in North Carolina have been asked to return $1,250 bonuses they received due to an administrative error.

According to local news outlets WBTV, WSOC, and WCNC, a district spokesperson confirmed that 225 high school English teachers in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools system mistakenly received recruiting bonuses that were intended for new hires. The error, amounting to $281,250, was discovered a few days later on January 18.

The teachers were initially informed that the school district would deduct $1,250 from their next paychecks. However, the school district later clarified that the teachers have the option to repay the bonus in a lump sum from their February check or choose a payment plan with deductions spread over three months.

The district expressed regret for the mistake and referred to the incident as an “unfortunate oversight.” According to CMS Board of Education Chairwoman Stephanie Sneed, the district is legally obliged to recover any excess state funds that were paid.

Sneed, in an interview with WSOC, mentioned that she received numerous calls throughout the day on Friday in response to the notice. While she acknowledged that teachers deserve higher pay, she also acknowledged that North Carolina law mandates the return of these payments.

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According to Sneed, it is widely recognized and acknowledged that teachers are not adequately compensated for their work, and this is an ongoing issue that is constantly being addressed. Therefore, it is understandable that an error like this can be quite distressing. Sneed expressed the importance of minimizing the impact of such errors and assured that a thorough analysis is currently underway to determine what went wrong. Efforts will be made to prevent a recurrence of this situation in the future.

The purpose of the received bonuses was to incentivize the recruitment of educators for CMS schools, as the district is facing a severe shortage of teachers. Currently, CMS teachers are already receiving a monthly retention bonus of $200 due to the shortage, as reported by WCNC.

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