Charter schools pay more than $170k in bonuses, details unknown - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Charter schools pay more than $170k in bonuses, details unknown

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The three schools paid a total of $171,200 in bonuses, although there is no explanation of how the money is distributed. The three schools paid a total of $171,200 in bonuses, although there is no explanation of how the money is distributed.
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

The non-profit group that runs three Wilmington-area charter schools responded Monday to a public records request WECT made more than five weeks ago, but questions remain about how salaries and bonuses are paid. 

The non-profit Charter Day School, Inc. holds state charters for Charter Day School in Leland, Columbus Charter School in Whiteville, and Douglass Academy in Wilmington - the only charter schools in the region that had not responded to our request for employee salaries. 

The government-funded schools are required to comply with the state's public records laws as a condition of their charters. 

WECT sent the request April 30 to the nine charter schools operating in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties. The other six schools provided each employee's name, title and salary. 

Charter Day School (CDS) did not list employee names or individual salaries in its response. Instead, the non-profit indicated the number of employees by category, such as teachers, assistant teachers and support services, as well as the total payroll for each category. The cost of benefits at each school was also provided. 

"…this strikes the appropriate balance the law requires so the public sees that CDS appropriately oversees the Charter Schools' use of public funds to produce results superior to traditional public schools," wrote Mark Dudeck, identified as "Authorized Officer" for Charter Day School. "This is more than adequate to serve both the public interest and your purposes." 

Dudeck said the state's public records law does not require charter schools to add the names of individual employees to salary information it makes public and that agencies are not required to compile a record that does not exist. 

"CDS simply does not maintain salary lists of the type you requested," Dudeck wrote. "Although local (non-charter) school systems are required to create such lists, charter schools are "exempt" from those requirements." 

Salaries and bonuses

An analysis of the information provided reveals varying average teacher pay within the organization: Charter Day School, $35,844; Columbus Charter School, $31,809; and Douglass Academy, $25,660. 

How much headmasters earn is unclear because the report combines office and support services into one salary line. In the case of Columbus Charter School, ten employees are included in the category. 

Collectively, the three schools employ 179 people, but the report does not indicate if any of the workers are part-time. 

The three schools paid a total of $171,200 in bonuses, although there is no explanation of how the money is distributed. 

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