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FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Educators with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools aren’t getting the raise they expected due to a multi-million dollar calculation error, according to a statement released by the school system.

The original proposed salary schedule sent out to educators had a $16 million calculation error, and the school board is working to revisit the schedule.

The full statement from WSFCS Superintendent Tricia McManus is provided below:

Good afternoon WS/FCS Certified Staff,  

I am writing today to share some important information about our salary and compensation schedules.  As you know we have embarked on a year long process to bring our compensation to competitive levels.  We value employees and our Finance and Human Resources teams have worked diligently to compare our salaries and local supplements to that of other districts.  We are committed to maintaining one of the highest compensation schedules for our employees.

Before the holiday break, the Board of Education approved a new supplement model, and it listed a significant increase for our Certified Employee supplement. Since that approval, an error in the original calculation has been discovered. Because of that calculation error, the amount approved was roughly $16 million dollars 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.  I join our Finance and Human Resources teams in sincerely apologizing for the mistake and I regret the formula error was not captured before the salary schedules were made public.  I never want to give misinformation and false hope, especially when it involves your compensation. 

As a result of finding and correcting this error, 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.  With these new, lengthy checks and balances in place, it will allow us to avoid this in the future.

So, what does this mean for you? On Tuesday we will present the updated salary schedule to the Board of Education.  They will look at the budget and the updated formula and be tasked with deciding what the new local supplement schedule will be.  While it likely will not be as high as the amounts portrayed in the previously approved schedule, as we have said from the beginning of this process, we are committed to ensuring a significant supplement increase for our staff.  The goal of our proposal will be to minimize the gap between what was published in December and what is more in line with the amount of money available for supplements.

The proposal will include a minimum average annual supplement increase of $1,800. This of course will vary depending on where you fall on the supplemental schedule. The beginning teacher annual supplement would be a minimum of $6,400. Again, while not as high as what was previously approved, this supplement increase will be greater than in years past. 

I know the challenges currently faced in our schools and the amazing work you are doing to support our students.  We will continue to find ways to provide bonuses for employees.  In addition to the $1,500 ESSER bonus being paid in March and the $700 local bonus being paid in May, we are going to request an additional bonus for April and work to follow this pattern over the next two school years.

It is no secret that educators are severely underpaid. While I have little control over state and national funding,  I can continue finding local ways to add to our WS/FCS educator pay.  I promise to keep this a priority.  

I encourage you to watch Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting and follow the process as we work to solidify what the supplemental pay schedule will be moving forward. We will communicate the corrected, approved salary schedule soon after Tuesday’s meeting.  

Thank you, Tricia McManus – WS/FCS Superintendent