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Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools budget error means staff won't get expected raise

The district approved $16 million more than what was budgeted for pay increases. Leaders said they plan to make changes at its next meeting.
Credit: WFMY News 2

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools' employees won't get the expected pay increase the district approved in December, according to a letter from Superintendent Tricia McManus to staff.

The Superintendent wrote that the Board of Education approved a new supplement model that listed an increase for certified employees. However, she said the approved amount was $16 million above what was budgeted for local increases.

"It was a significant calculation mistake and thankfully it was captured before the schedule was ever implemented and executed," wrote McManus, "I never want to give misinformation and false hope, especially when it involves your compensation."

McManus went on to describe what the Board of Education plans to do next.

She said she will present an updated salary schedule to the Board of Education at its next meeting on Tuesday, January 11.

She conceded that the new schedule "will not be as high as the amounts portrayed in the previously approved schedule." Still, she said the goal of the proposal is to "minimize the gap between what was published in December and what is more in line with the amount of money available for supplements."

McManus wrote in her letter, "the proposal will include a minimum average annual supplement increase of $1,800." The amount will vary depending on where employees fall on the supplemental schedule.

McManus continued, "the beginning teacher annual supplement would be a minimum of $6,400". She wrote, "while not as high as what was previously approved, this supplement increase will be greater than in years past."

She went on to remind staff of the recently approved $1,500 ESSER bonus, scheduled to arrive in March, as well as the $700 local bonus for school staff, which is scheduled to arrive in May. McManus wrote that she plans to request an additional bonus for April, and continue this pattern over the next two school years.

McManus also discussed how she and district leaders plan to make sure this error doesn't happen again. 

She wrote, "we have reorganized the teams managing and monitoring compensation. We have implemented a new four-step process to check all salary formulas and calculations before they are made public and before presenting to the Board of Education for approval."

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education will discuss the Superintendent's proposal at its meeting on Tuesday, January 11. McManus closed her letter saying she will communicate the new, corrected salary schedule to staff shortly after.

This is a developing story. Any new information or updates will be added to this story as they are released.

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