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Aug 10, 2011 8:58 AM by Lauren Wilson & AP

Pay mistake is bonus for Franklin Parish teachers

WINNSBORO, La. (AP) - Franklin Parish teachers can keep the extra $1,340 they were accidentally paid last year, but the school board says they cannot keep getting that much extra.
The Franklin Parish School Board voted 4-3 Monday night to deduct the amount from the check paid after the year's sales tax revenues are tallied, rather than cutting monthly paychecks, The News-Star of Monroe reported Tuesday.
Last year's so-called "13th check" averaged $5,400 per teacher.
The board added $1,340 two years ago to salaries of teachers on nine-month contracts. The same amount was added again last year, by mistake.
"You can blame me," Superintendent Lanny Johnson told the board and teachers at Monday night's special meeting. "I didn't catch it."
Johnson said the district is on the brink of financial ruin, and last year's overpayment totaled $460,000.
"Correcting this mistake will sustain the board for a while and will allow us to continue to pay salaries and retirement," he said. "I'm kind of glad you got it, but in order for us to keep paying your retirement and hospitalization, that $400,000 is crucial."

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