Merit bonus part of budget plan

By: By Kristy D. Carter -

Lawmakers have recently announced the final details of the state’s budget. Part of that proposed budget includes a one-time merit based bonus for the non-instructional support staff at local school systems.

During a recent meeting of the Clinton City Board of Education, Susan Harrison, finance director, informed board members of the state’s budget plans to include providing the bonus to principals, assistant principals, custodians, bookkeepers, nutritional staff, bus drivers and teacher assistants.

“Merit base bonuses will be paid to school based administrators, central office and non-certified employees,” Harrison said. “Clinton City Schools is working to develop a plan that will be presented to the local Board of Education for approval.”

According to budget reports, plans include a total of $95 million to be distributed for merit-based raises. Principals are expected to get a one-time bonus of $2,000, while assistant principals are expected to get a one-time bonus of $500.

The merit bonus will come from state funds for those employees who are paid from state funds and local funds for those employees paid from local funds.

“If we have a person paid out of state funds, their bonus must come from state funds,” Harrison explained. “If they are paid through local funding, their bonus will have to come from local funding.”

Teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, nurses and media specialists are not included in the one-time merit bonus that is expected to be given out in December or January.

As part of the proposed budget to grant salary increases to both teachers and state workers, each teacher is expected to get a 2 percent increase, which lawmakers say will bring the average annual salary for a teacher up to $50,000 and $54,000 over the next three years. State workers will get a 1.5 percent pay increase under the plan, plus a .5 percent bonus.

According to the budget, every teacher in the state of North Carolina will receive an increase in salary based on the projected salary schedule.

The salaries for clerical staff, custodians and support staff will be funded through $57.3 million from state lottery funds and the budget includes $315 million for non-instructional staff salaries.

In addition to the merit bonus, the state budget does include a bonus program for third-grade teachers who students excel on state-mandated reading tests. Those teachers who have students with top marks in both the state and district can earn up to a $6,800 bonus.


By Kristy D. Carter

Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.

Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.