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Same Day – Different Pay: Multiple Pay Scenarios in Schools


You’ve heard the phrase “I wear a lot of hats in my job”, right? Well, that saying definitely captures what it’s like to work in education. Whether you’re looking at a teacher’s daily schedule, an administrator’s responsibilities, or considering the versatility expected of those managing operations; it is amazing how much it takes to make a school district run smoothly.

It’s one thing to commiserate with the meaning of that good ol’ saying. It’s a totally different animal to plan, prepare, staff, backfill, cover, budget and fund all of the unique pay scenarios across a school district. To take it a step further, now that we are living in a digital world it’s becoming apparent that “the way we’ve always done it” just isn’t going to cut it.

Paper, spreadsheets and disparate systems cause bottlenecks at all of the hardest parts of business office processes.

You’d think that getting this kind of data in a digital format would improve processes in general. However, the problem that many school business and HR professionals are running in to is that not all HR, Finance and Payroll software can legitimately process the complex pay scenarios that school districts have to manage.

One Teacher. One Day. Three Different Types of Pay.

Didn’t you know that 1 + 1 = 3? When it comes to Shana, the Science teacher who’s the coordinator for rewriting her department’s curriculum and a tutor on Wednesdays… She’s literally one teacher who has varying contributing factors to what goes into her pay on any given day.

Well, in school compensation each staff member could potentially have a completely unique pay structure. We’re dealing with tons of contributing factors to the composition of a pay check.

What contributes to the composition of compensation?

  • Grades
  • Cycles
  • Steps
  • Stipends
  • Supplementals
  • Contract duration
  • Education
  • Effective dating
  • Permanent versus temporary
  • And a whole lot more

Where’s the money coming from?

Not to mention everything else like how many years an employee has been working in your district (or another district for that matter)?

If you have technology that’s supposed to calculate compensation for you and you still require random spreadsheets and sticky notes to remind you when people are separating from a position, then it’s time to consider a system that is made to handle effective dating for schools.

If you have HR working out of Finance and Payroll software, then it’s likely that you’re experiencing bottlenecks in some of your most critical processes, like waiting for someone to manually process an approval or remember to physically walk a piece of paper across the hall. It’s time to consider something that just works out of the box for the district business office.

It’s for all of these reasons that school districts across the country have stopped settling for tools and processes that can’t inherently handle the complex pay scenarios of K-12. District HR, Finance and Payroll professionals are demanding more from their technology partners. Having data in a digital format isn’t valuable enough. Schools need software that was built for educators by educators.

Nichelle Smith

Nichelle Smith is a Product Marketing Manager for Frontline Education. With her Master's degree in Education and being a former educator, Nichelle loves to explore all things "edtech"!