Boone County Educators Concerned About the Possibility of Delayed Paychecks

By Hillary Hall, Reporter

Educators and service personnel in Boone County say they were blindsided last week after being told their paychecks for June 24th might be delayed.

School leaders say it all comes down to a major loss of coal tax money in the county.

“Babies can’t live on promises until July. They have to have food, they have to have clothing, they have to have diapers,” said Carrena Rouse, a teacher at Scott High School and the President of the Boone County chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.

Carrena says the first thing that came to mind when she got the news about her paycheck was how some of her coworkers were going to make it. Like Bryan Pickens, he and his wife Shainna who are both employed by Boone County Schools have a three-year-old little boy and a little girl on the way.

“Not having that stability and regularity with pay and the ability to know that you are financially secure it is definitely a scary thing,” said Bryan Pickens, a French teacher at Scott High School.

The Boone County Board of Education has asked the state legislature for more than 2 million dollars to make it through the fiscal year.

In Monday’s board of education meeting, Hudson was asked why the money for the paychecks wasn’t already in the bank. He said that Boone County employs more people than what state aid will cover, and they’ve made ends meet with coal severance tax money for decades.

“When we looked at our tax dollars and our tax revenue for the month of April, it was down almost 4 million dollars,” said John Hudson, Superintendent of Boone County Schools.

The West Virginia American Federation of Teachers is exploring the legality of delayed paychecks and has contacted the board of education with their concerns.

“Right now, it has just been a warning that you cannot take someone’s pay that they’ve worked for. That is a theft of services. You can’t steal someone’s livelihood,” said Carrena Rouse.

No resolution has been reached by the state legislature for the 2.2 million dollars requested by the Boone county board of education.