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Dayton Public Schools scrambles to correct payroll errors

Two children sitting at desks in a classroom raise their hands while an adult is at a white board in the background.
Elementary children in class.

Dayton Public Schools is fast-tracking paychecks to workers who weren't paid earlier this month, and district leaders say better procedures are needed to ensure employees are paid on time.

School board members challenged the district to make real changes to fix this and other payroll problems.

The Dayton Board of Education held a special meeting Monday, Jan. 22. Human resources officials blamed BusinessPLUS, the district’s payroll software, for the missing payments, calling it cumbersome. DPS contracts with PowerSchool for this software and E SchoolPLUS.

Director of Accountability and Assessment Mindy Clark told board members the system isn't accepting past modifications the district requested.

“We have made such significant changes to Business Plus that they can’t get the fields to line up, which is part of the reason why when we try and upload a file, it's not talking and therein lies part of the problem,” Clark said.

Another issue is some employee deductions haven't been taken out for health insurance and other benefits. Earlier this month, the district paid $400,000 to cover back payments for employees who might owe for health care in January.

Payroll Chief Kelli Webb assured the board her staff and those in HR will get additional training.

"We’re going to do an HR bootcamp for the entire HR department. I’m going to sit in as well so I can be a backup in these situations," Webb said. "I’ve been here for five years as well. This is the first time I’ve seen this type of scenario with benefits."

Webb noted other impacted district employees haven't turned in all essential paperwork in order to be paid. Also workers at each school fill out their timesheet differently, Webb said, creating more confusion for HR’s new employees who don't have much experience troubleshooting these issues.

PowerSchool will also offer training to payroll and HR workers, according to Webb.

Kathryn Mobley is an award-winning broadcast journalist, crafting stories for more than 30 years. She’s reported and produced for TV, NPR affiliate and for the web. Mobley also contributes to several area community groups. She sings tenor with World House Choir (Yellow Springs), she’s a board member of the Beavercreek Community Theatre and volunteers with two community television operations, DATV (Dayton) and MVCC (Centerville).

Email: kmobley@wyso.org
Cell phone: (937) 952-9924