After state eliminates 12-month installment pay, school system shares options for affected employees

Carteret County Schools finance officer Kathy Carswell reviews a new state payroll system for school employees during the County Board of Education meeting held Tuesday in the school system’s central office in Beaufort. The state has eliminated 12-month installment pay for employees beginning in the 2021-22 school year. (Cheryl Burke photo)

BEAUFORT — About 600 Carteret County school system employees will see changes in the way they receive paychecks beginning with the 2021-22 academic year.

“As part of a statewide business system modernization, the Department of Public Instruction eliminated their processing of installment pay. That is the method for 10-month employees to receive their salary spread over 12 months,” school system finance officer Kathy Carswell said during the County Board of Education meeting Tuesday in the school system’s central office on Safrit Drive. “This has been eliminated effective with next school year.”

Ms. Carswell said affected employees have been notified. The last installment checks for certified employees, such as teachers, will be distributed in July.  The last installment checks for hourly employees, such as maintenance workers, will be distributed in August.

“The recommended and best option now for our employees is for them to work with their chosen financial institutions to establish summer savings accounts,” she said. “Employees will still be able to save funds to be available to them for summer months via their financial institution or by setting up a summer cash account with (State Employees Credit Union).”

Employees can choose the amount to be deducted for summer savings, and they will be able to earn interest on the funds they save.

“Any 10- or 11-month employee can set up this account at any time during the school year,” she said.

School finance officers have contacted NC-SECU, Wells Fargo and First Citizens and are working to set up information sessions so employees can make changes prior to the start of the school year, according to Ms. Carswell. They are also in the process of contacting BB&T, now Truist.

“These are the top four banking institutions that our employees use,” she said.

As for the reasoning for the DPI payroll system changes, Ms. Carswell said, “It will enable financial payroll operations to be more streamlined and will allow the district to move to a modern financial/human resource system in the future.”

In other action, the board:

  • Recognized CHS rising sophomore Luke Kahrimanovic for earning his Eagle Scout for improvements he made to the Carteret Preschool playground in Newport.
  • Recognized recent ECHS graduates Bennie Brooks and Ellie Fulcher for receiving N.C. High School Athletic Association Heart of a Champion Awards.
  • Reappointed Catherine Parker to the Carteret Community College Board of Trustees.
  • Received the first reading of numerous policy revisions.
  • Announced there will be no July meeting, but the board will hold a special meeting at 9 a.m. Monday, June 28 to consider adoption of a fiscal 2020-21 final budget amendment and a continuing budget resolution for fiscal 2021-22. The meeting will be in the gym at Morehead City Elementary School.
  • Amended the consent agenda to remove approval of a State Board of Education school-based mental health policy and initiative for the county school system.
  • Amended the consent agenda to add awarding a three-year contract for a kindergarten through grade 5 Into Math curriculum.
  • Met in closed session for personnel matters, with no action taken in open session.

Under the consent agenda, the board:

  • Approved personnel matters, fundraiser requests and student transfer requests.
  • Approved entering a three-year contract for an Into Math curriculum for grades K-5 at a cost of $326,778. Funds for the curriculum will come from federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Stabilization, or ESSERS, money.
  • Approved the same student performance accountability model used for the 2020-21 academic year at Bridges Alternative School in Morehead City for the 2021-22 year. DPI requires school districts to approve an accountability model each year for alternative schools.
  • Approved child nutrition contracts for the 2021-22 school year, including $2.1 million to Sysco for food, $287,126 to Sysco for supplies, $115,209 to R&H Produce for produce, $5,896 to Hershey for ice cream and $1.1 million to Maola for milk.
  • Approved a memorandum of understanding with The Bridge Downeast on Harkers Island for after-school and summer enrichment programs for students at Smyrna Elementary, Down East Middle, Atlantic Elementary and Harkers Island Elementary schools.
  • Approved the school system’s Career and Technical Education plan for the 2021-22 academic year.
  • Approved school fees for the 2021-22 academic year.
  • Approved a one-year contract with Johnson Controls Planned Service at a cost of $58,631 for environmental control services in county schools.

 

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

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