NC Teachers Get Accidental $3,500 Bonus On Paychecks

By Jason Patterson | United States

In the Tar Heel State, more than 119 teachers accidentally received bonuses in their January paychecks, and now Wake County is forcing them to pay it back.

Wake County officials told WTVD that they sent out an email to employees stating that 124 teachers were “mistakenly paid” extra because of a clerical error on Thursday.

The money for elementary and middle school teachers averaged $3,000, and high school teachers received a range of cash from $25 to $3,500.

According to North Carolina law, the teachers are required to give the money back.

School officials said the district will work with teachers on a repayment plan if necessary.

Wake sent an email Wednesday to employees that said 117 teachers were mistakenly paid the bonus money because there was “an error in processing the data file provided to the district from the state.”

“It is with tremendous regret that I must inform you that you have received a bonus in your January paycheck in error,” the email said. “Per North Carolina state law, we must collect the overpayment of the bonus.”

Lisa Luten, a spokeswoman for Wake schools, said the district will work with affected teachers to return the money. Initially, the teachers said the bonus money would be deducted from their February paychecks.

Teachers were only eligible for bonuses if they ranked in the top 25 percent for student growth in reading for third through fifth grade or in math for fourth through eighth grade. High school teachers were eligible if their students earned certifications or credentials in career-technical classes or earned high scores on Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education exams.