Selma teachers must wait on November checks

Published 1:19 am Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SELMA — Teachers and staff of the city schools here will not get an advance on the November check this year.

In previous years, the payments had been issued prior to Thanksgiving.

This year, city school board members decided to issue payments at the regularly scheduled end of the month time.

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“It’s not a law, it’s a custom,” said Sylvia Smith. “Financial things are different now.”

School systems tend to offer the payment early.

State law allows school systems to pay employees early only if the school system does not have to borrow the money.

The school system could pay from its pocket and wait to be reimbursed from the state, but there is not enough funding to pay out-of-pocket this year, school officials said.

Selma school system does not have the needed $3.5 million to pay ahead.

Paying early would mean the cost of interest on the borrowed money would take away from something the school board could spend on the schools at a later point.

“I understand the gesture,” said Roderick West, a school board member, “but, we have to watch our money.”