I was unaware that teachers received their paychecks early over the holidays, a small perk that was apparently valued enough for the teachers’ group PAGE to send out an action alert.
A teacher sent me a note explaining why this matters to her and other teachers, “Apparently, this means that many of us will not be receiving our paycheck before the Winter Break as we always have. Though we will get paid at the end of December, I know that many teachers (myself included) rely on this early payday to help us make Christmas happen for our families, travel home, etc. From what I understand, they made this decision in September and are just now getting the word out…leaving many of us in quite a bind. Can you please investigate this and let us know what you find out?”
She included this e-mail that PAGE is sending out to its members:
PAGE has learned from Scott Austensen, the Department of Education’s Deputy Superintendent for Finance and Business Operations, that the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget will not be sending QBE monies to the school districts for November and December until the last day of the month, as they do in all other months.
According to Amy Jacobs, an official with OPB, the total amount of funds is $500 million and the QBE allotment will be released at the end of November and December due to cash flow concerns. She also indicated that local school superintendents were notified of this change in September.
Prior to this the state had, as a courtesy, sent the funds earlier in those two months so that districts could issue paychecks to staff before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
PAGE has contacted interim state school superintendent Brad Bryant to request that the courtesy be extended again this year, particularly given the morale situation caused by budget cuts, furloughs, etc. PAGE believes this move will work a hardship on all staff, particularly school support employees such as custodians, food service staff and others.
We encourage concerned educators to contact Gov. Perdue to request assistance in getting officials to revisit their unfortunate decision.