- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 5, 2004

Thousands of Prince George’s County public school teachers did not receive their tax forms on time this year — the latest snag in a new software system designed to streamline the school district’s payroll.

Prince George’s County Chief Executive Officer Andrew Hornsby had warned employees that they would not receive their Form W-2 Internal Revenue Service documents by Feb. 2 — the deadline for employers to issue the documents under IRS rules.

“Our staff has put forth tremendous effort to meet that deadline, but, unfortunately, the system experienced technical problems,” Mr. Hornsby said in a Jan. 30 letter to school employees.

Teachers yesterday blamed the problems with ongoing difficulties with a new Oracle software system that the county school system began using last year.

“We had teachers last year who weren’t getting paychecks at all,” said Carol Kilby, president of the Prince George’s County Educators Association. “They ask us to be patient. We are fountains of patience, but our patience is running very low right now.”

Leaders of the union, which represents 9,000 school teachers, said some educators also face problems receiving the right amount of money in their paychecks.

“We’ve had ongoing problems with this new payroll, and they’ve been pretty severe,” said Miss Kilby.

Union leaders said as many as 40 teachers did not receive paychecks last month before school officials corrected the problem. Many teachers, however, still do not get paid for overseeing various after-school activities.

School officials acknowledge the new computer system has had its problems since it was installed last year.

“It’s not a secret,” said schools spokeswoman Athena Ware. “We’ve talked about it on a number of occasions with the teachers.”

However, Miss Ware said the new system has caused fewer pay mixups since its start last year.

“Things have improved tremendously in the past few months,” she said. “We’re still working hard to resolve the problems.”

Union officials say they are concerned that employees will be late filing their taxes this year. “That’s one of the issues I’ll be raising with Mr. Hornsby,” said Miss Kilby.

Schools officials said they plan to have the W-2 forms to employees by Feb. 20. The school system will not face any IRS sanctions for the delay because it has received a 30-day extension to deliver the forms.

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