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More than 300 CMS teachers must repay $750 each because of a COVID-19 bonus error

 Second-graders at Oakdale Elementary School in Charlotte do a phonics lesson.
Second-graders at Oakdale Elementary School in Charlotte do a phonics lesson.

More than 300 teachers in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will have $750 taken from an upcoming paycheck because of a district error on COVID-19 bonuses.

At the end of the last school year, CMS used federal COVID-19 aid to offer stipends to teachers and other licensed staff who took on extra duties related to the pandemic. More than 10,000 qualified for a $750 payment.

CMS recently discovered that while uploading the spreadsheets, staff accidentally entered 319 people twice. Those people received $1,500. This week those employees were told they’ll be docked $750 on their Nov. 30 paycheck.

CMS Communications Director Eve White acknowledged the potential for financial hardship, but says the district is legally required to recoup overpayments. Employees can request that the reimbursement be spread over multiple pay periods, she says.

Copyright 2021 WFAE

Ann Doss Helms covers education for WFAE. She was a reporter for The Charlotte Observer for 32 years, including 16 years on the education beat. She has repeatedly won first place in education reporting from the North Carolina Press Association and won the 2015 Associated Press Senator Sam Open Government Award for reporting on charter school salaries.