DeSoto County school board working to ensure employees receive pay through end of school year

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Updated: Apr. 20, 2020 at 5:11 PM CDT
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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - The DeSoto County Board of Education held a special meeting Monday to discuss paying employees, including teachers.

The bill Governor Tate Reeves signed in March ensured school employees would be paid while the coronavirus pandemic caused schools to close.

"The governor had given school districts the opportunity to have administrative leave for their employees," Superintendent Cory Uselton said.

The timeline for that legislation lasted till April 17. Now, the DeSoto County Board of Education has approved a measure that ensures their employees receive pay through May 22, which Superintendent Uselton says is the last teacher workday.

“Many of our employees finished working at that point for the 2019-2020 school year. On May 21 we’ll put a plan in place to make sure that our employees are compensated who are working in those days between May 23 and June 30,” Uselton explained.

Like many school districts across the country, school for students will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. It is hard for administrators to predict how long the coronavirus pandemic will cause schools to remain closed beyond the end of this school year.

“I don’t think any administrators or teachers were ever prepared for a situation quite like this," said Uselton. “I do believe though there’s some measures that we’ve taken that our teachers have learned, and we’ve learned as administrators, that will help us in the future, especially if we have have to deal with a situation similar to this.”

Administrators are also bracing for how the pandemic may impact their budget and funding from the state down the line.

Uselton added, “We’re in the middle of the budgeting process, and we’re being very conservative in our budget because we know that there is the very real possibility that we’ll be receiving less money this year and also the following year.”

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