‘It was not clearly identified:’ Cabarrus Co. BOE reviewing discrepancy in bonus payments for classified staff

The BOE approved a one-time 6% bonus in April solely for classified employees but new information reveals other staff, including principals and executives, were also paid the bonus
In April 2021, the Cabarrus County Board of Education approved a one-time bonus for classified employees.
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 7:46 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2022 at 10:28 PM EST
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CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - Thousands of dollars meant only for Cabarrus County Schools teachers, bus drivers, custodians, and other school staff were also sent to administrators and executives.

In April 2021, the Cabarrus County Board of Education approved a one-time bonus for classified employees.

This money came from federal elementary and secondary school emergency relief funds. This bonus was 6% of the annual salary and was paid to employees in May 2021.

“It was our front-line people - it was the people really in the trenches and keeping Cabarrus County Schools going,” said Board chair Holly Grimsley.

The board also approved increasing the teacher supplement from 10% to 12%.

Earlier this week, the BOE was discussing ideas and options for an incentive program and during this time discovered additional positions were also paid the money meant for classified employees.

This included the former superintendent, former CFO, and principals.

Grimsley says these positions were not included in the presentation they were shown and what they approved last April.

“It was not clearly identified. The classified staff that we thought we were approving and I even asked the question during the meeting was what was being presented clearly identified?”

A document on the district’s Board Docs website shows more than 1,700 employees were paid for the 6% classified bonus list, unlike the presentation in April 2021, this list included principals, executives, and other administrators.

“We would’ve really liked to have had if they were including administration or other levels of classified when you’re looking at that segment of the population you don’t think to correlate that with administration,” Grimsley said.

Now the Board, new superintendent, and new CFO are reviewing what federal ESSER funds remain and working on a way to make adjustments to these payments.

“So now we just really have to take a look at what we have left, what we can do from this point, who has not received anything or as much as some others and kind of figure out how we balance that and how we just try to go back and make it right,” Grimsley said.

The superintendent also recommended a one-time 1,000-dollar bonus for teachers especially as they’re covering more classes and responsibilities - this has not been approved and will be discussed at next month’s meeting.

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