Due to Warren County Schools’ budget constraints, part-time district employees working as tutors, bus monitors and bus drivers will no longer receive school system paychecks after March 27.

The school system was forced to consider the matter as the result of an executive order from Gov. Roy Cooper that closed public schools until May 15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Warren County Board of Education voted to follow this recommendation made by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Young during a work session/business meeting on Tuesday.

Young explained that according to N.C. Department of Public Instruction guidelines, employees must work in order to be paid. She said that she wishes that all employees could continue to be paid as usual; however, because schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, tutors, bus monitors and bus drivers have not been needed.

Young told the board that the school system projected that it would make the following total salary payments for the part-time workers between March 16 and 27: tutors, $5,933; bus monitors, $3,215; and bus drivers, $26,219. She noted that some school districts are using fund balance to cover part-time employee pay on an ongoing basis, but Warren County Schools does not have an adequate fund balance after March 27.

When part-time employees are notified of the pay cutoff, they will be advised about seeking unemployment benefits and/or benefits made available through the federal Families First Coronavirus Act. Application assistance will be provided if needed.

In a related matter, the board approved a temporary teleworking agreement to give eligible full-time school system employees, including teachers, an option to work from home while schools are closed.

Young told the board that, according to the DPI, all full-time 10-12 month school system employees must work in order to be paid.

Employees working with personally identifying student and employee information must work on site, she added. In addition, child nutrition and custodial staff must work on site due to the work they do.

Teachers may choose to telework or work on site at the school system’s central administrative office or Hawkins Educational Center. The teleworking agreement will require teachers to complete weekly documentation to maintain work records.