excerpt from latimes.com:
L.A. Unified tells teachers to refund over-payments (LMFAO!)
The district paid about $53 million too much to 36,000 workers. They are given until Dec. 10 to decide whether to pay or fight.
In the latest fallout from a badly flawed payroll system that has plagued the Los Angeles public school system for nearly a year, officials have taken steps to recoup $53 million they calculate has been overpaid to about 36,000 school district employees.
Teachers and other staff in the Los Angeles Unified School District must either trust the district's claim that they were overpaid and repay the money -- or dispute the calculations and face further chaos come tax season.
For Genie Penn, a veteran second-grade teacher at Overland Elementary on the Westside, the choice is clear.
"All of a sudden they've decided I owe them $9,000?" asked an exasperated Penn, who has a graduate degree in business. "I know I owe them some money, but it is not that much. Until they can show me some proof of how much I owe them, I am not paying a dime. It's just absurd. It's mind boggling! But I guess when you work for LAUSD, nothing should surprise you."
Affected employees -- the vast majority are teachers -- have until Dec. 10 to choose whether to repay the district the entire amount they received, request a repayment plan, repay only the amount they believe they were overpaid or refuse to pay anything.
Any employee who disagrees with the district's overpayment calculation and refuses to pay some or all of the money will have to wait for L.A. Unified and union officials to work out a process for how such disputes will be resolved. Zeronian and David Holmquist, interim chief operating officer, said they expect those plans to be finalized early next year.
[OH GOOD...GLAD TO SEE EVERYTHING WILL BE OFF TO A SMOOTH, PRODUCTIVE, EFFICIENT AND NON-COMBATIVE START NEXT YEAR!]
After months of mounting confusion and frustration, many are dubious of the computer system's ability to accurately calculate over-payments. Several teachers pointed to an earlier attempt by the district to determine over-payments and under-payments that was marred by widespread inaccuracies.
Penn, for example, is flummoxed because the district claimed during the summer that she owed a couple of hundred dollars and now says she owes nearly $9,000. As far as she can tell, the new figure is impossibly high because she is paid only about $4,000 each month and, as far as she can tell, the only overpayment she received was a month's pay while she was on leave.
"These numbers just don't make any sense," echoed Stephen McDonough, a sixth-grade music teacher at Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, who was told he owes $1,900. "Nobody is clear on how they came up with them. They are asking me to take their word for it and pay them a third of my salary right before the holidays. I can't do it."
[AND NOW BRACE YOURSELF FOR SOME OF THE "STUPIDIST" PR COMMENTS EVER UTTERED...]
Holmquist urged employees to trust the district. But he could offer only a tenuous reason to do so, saying that the relative success of this month's payday indicates that repairs made so far to the payroll system appear to be working. Some technical glitches remain unresolved, however, and 3,000 employees are estimated to have had paycheck problems this month.
Are the calculations "100% guaranteed? No," Holmquist said. "But it's highly probable. We have a higher degree of confidence than ever before that we are accurate."
[OH GOOD! I'm sure people are bending over backwards to trust you and pay whatever you ask, as soon as possible, now that you have a "higher degree of confidence" in the accuracy.]
Challenging the district over the repayment totals, however, comes with considerable risk. In the letters to employees, Zeronian warned that once the December deadline passes, employees will be responsible for the total amount of the alleged overpayments, including the amount the district withheld for taxes.
[OH GOOD...NOW THE DISTRICT IS THREATENING TEACHERS WHEN THEY ARE NOT EVEN SURE THEY ARE ACCURATE!?!?!]
If Penn, the elementary school teacher, for example, refuses to pay and it is ultimately determined the district calculations are right, she will have to repay the district $8,983 -- the $6,068 the district overpaid her and the $2,915 it took out for taxes. It would then fall to Penn to try to get the excess tax money back from state and federal agencies. If the district tally for Penn is wrong, L.A. Unified will have to issue her a revised income tax form.
"It is going to be a tax nightmare for people to try to unravel," said Patty O'Connell, a partner at the accounting firm Holthouse, Carlin & Van Trigt in Los Angeles.
"These are their mistakes," he said. "If they think they put too much money in my pocket and they want to discuss it, they can come out to me at school, prove it, and then we can work something out."
[Guess what LAUSD...you blew it...not you're gonna have to eat the loss. Are you crazy??? You think you are gonna sort this out, and disrupt these teachers lives and turn their financial world upside-down? YOU'RE GONNA BE EATING MOST OF THAT $53 million you big f*cking dummies! (AND WE ALL KNOW WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS SYSTEM AND WHY IT WAS SELECTED! Just ask Monica Garcia...she should be able to tell you! Cause when your cronies have a payroll system to sell...you just GOTTA use that one!)
IS THERE A PARENT IN THE CITY LEFT THAT WOULD TRUST THESE LAUSD BUFFOONS WITH THEIR KIDS? STUPID AND CORRUPT...IT'S A TRAGIC COMBINATION.