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Substitute Management

Flexible Pay in K-12: The Benefits and Debunking the Myths

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Since the launch of the Wagestream partnership, available to K-12 districts utilizing Frontline Absence Management, the concept of financial flexibility has been a frequent topic of discussion. But what does that really mean, why is it of paramount importance for K-12 school districts and why is this absolutely critical for K-12 school districts?
Our lives are becoming increasingly flexible with the growing popularity of on-demand products and streaming services. If you really want to, you can order same day delivery for just about anything these days. Booking appointments can even happen with the click of a button. However, when it comes to the way many of us get paid, it’s still quite old school. When you consider how district staff gets paid, it can sometimes be months before they receive a paycheck. By offering your staff flexible access to their pay when they want it, as they earn in, your district can increase fill rates, foster financial wellbeing, and minimize stress.

Wagestream Fast Facts:



In the HR world, I’m about doing anything I can to benefit employees, including improving their well-being. And we know that financial wellness is a piece of that.

Dr. Lisa Hatfield, Assistant
Superintendent of Human Resources, Raymore-Peculiar School District


Financial Flexibility in School Districts

There are federal and state funding limitations that cause the timing of pay to be a very real detractor for individuals who would otherwise be interested in working at a district. Financial flexibility is the notion that with the right, sophisticated, user-friendly technology, pay at a school district could become on-demand with very little lift from the district or its employees.
Financial flexibility at a school district is the idea that a substitute, for example, could work a job and then access those earned wages instantly if they needed to. When gas is more expensive than usual, or bill cycles don’t align with pay cycles, district employees wouldn’t have to seek out predatory loans or high interest credit. Instead, they could just have simple, secure access to the money they have already earned.
We see this a lot in organizations that have front line workers, and it is a powerful benefit for organizations to attract and retain top talent. That’s why Frontline Education is exclusively partnering with Wagestream to bring financial wellbeing to employees at districts who use Frontline Absence Management.

Financial wellbeing is when you:

  • Have control over day-to-day, month-to-month finances
  • Have the capacity to absorb a financial shock
  • Are on track to meet your financial goals
  • Feel secure about your financial future
  • Have the financial freedom to make the choices that allow you to enjoy life


Debunking 3 Myths About Flexible Pay

MYTH: Offering flexible pay to employees is unethical.

Reality: Consider the ethical implications of not providing flexible payment options. Requiring employees to adhere to a pay cycle that suits the business but may not align with individual needs and preferences raises ethical concerns. Providing employees with choices and allowing them to opt for it, is a morally responsible approach. Ultimately, the decision to participate in the program should be left to the individual.

MYTH: If people get early access to their pay, they’ll end up in worse financial shape.

Reality: According to Wagestream’s findings, 72% of employees who utilize or have access to flexible pay benefits experience reduced financial stress, while 52% report improved budgeting and saving capabilities. This positive impact stems from reduced reliance on costly financial options such as payday loans, credit cards, and overdrafts.

MYTH: The fixed pay cycle helps people manage their money.

Reality: The fixed pay cycle is designed with businesses in mind. Its purpose is to enable businesses to efficiently manage payroll at a lower cost and meet tax filing deadlines. The perception that the fixed pay cycle benefits individuals is a result of familiarity rather than its original intent.

To support the credibility of this program, we want to recognize that Wagestream for Frontline is the winner of the EdTech K-12 Deployment of the Year Award for 2023!
Want to learn more about financial flexibility and Wagestream? Explore this powerful benefit

Suggested Resources:
Azle ISD: How Azle ISD uses Wagestream through Frontline’s Absence Management to support substitute teachers, raise fill rates, and expand its substitute pool.
Raymore-Peculiar School District: Dr. Lisa Hatfield, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, describes how the district offers flexible pay to help recruit substitutes through Wagestream and Frontline’s Absence Management.
Clovis Municipal Schools: Clovis Municipal Schools in New Mexico is offering Wagestream through Frontline’s Absence Management as a benefit to help increase fill rates.