About 200 D.C. public school teachers made a special trip downtown yesterday to get paid after their checks did not show up at their schools, according to school system officials. Not all of the teachers were enthusiastic about the trip, which officials said resulted from the introduction of a new citywide payroll system.
"We've done our work," said Karen Moore, a fifth-grade teacher at Beers Elementary School in Southeast Washington. "We shouldn't have to go through this." Moreover, she said, after standing in line for her check, it turned out to be only 80 percent of what she expected.
School system officials, citing difficulties that accompanied phasing in the new system, said a school payroll office would be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today and from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday to correct problems and supply any missing checks. The office is on the sixth floor of 810 First St. NE, said Devonya Smith, a schools spokeswoman. She said teachers may also get information by calling 202-442-9182.
"We know people work hard and . . . earn their checks and should have them," Smith said. She said yesterday's payday was the first for approximately 7,000 teachers and other school-based personnel under the city's new Comprehensive Automated Payroll and Personnel System.
About 60 percent of the teachers receive their pay by direct deposit, and checks normally are sent to the others' homes, said schools chief financial officer Don Rickford. For yesterday's inaugural run, however, the checks normally mailed were given out at schools, he said.
He said most of those teachers who went downtown last night were not on direct deposit. He said problems processing time sheets had held up the checks.