CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Top-level education executives in Cabarrus County Schools, along with school principals got big bonuses, while teachers got a small pay supplement.

The pay issues are coming to light almost a year later with a new superintendent and a new chief financial officer at the helm.

The school board chair tells Queen City News she never knew she was voting to give a 6% bonus to administrators and executives, including the former chief financial officer who was in front of her giving the presentation.

Cabarrus County Schools took down its board meeting from online Tuesday night and kept it offline for more than 15 hours.

When they put it back up they blurred out the names of top-level executives who got big bonuses last spring, including former Chief Financial Officer Kelly Kluttz and former Interim Superintendent Brian Schultz.

Kelly Kluttz, the former Chief Financial Officer, asked the school board last April to approve a 6% one-time increase for classified employees and a 2% supplement for teachers, which is part of a 3-year federal grant.

Holly Grimsley, Chairperson of the Cabarrus County Board of Education, who was on the board at the time tells Queen City News her understanding from what was presented by Kluttz, was that the 6% bonus only included workers such as bus drivers, custodians, and mechanics and not top executives making six-figure salaries.

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Queen City News Reporter Robin Kanady asked Grimsley, “Holly, there are people who would look at this and say, ‘You were on the board. You should have known what you were voting for. What would you say to that?”

“That is absolutely true and I thought I did. When I asked her in that meeting, ‘This is only for classified personnel?’ And she says, ‘yes,’ that was my assumption that I have always been educated that classified are hourly employees just like in that category that was listed,” answered Grimsley.

Grimsley would not answer whether she feels misled by Kluttz.

“I think it’s unfortunate that it was not disclosed. If we’re going to do that it should have been told to the board,” said Grimsley.

She says the board cannot undo what was done, but they can make it right going forward.

“We definitely want to rectify, if that’s what we need to do, and to move forward, we need to know exactly what anybody was paid, whatever classification or category you are in the school system to make sure we have given equitable shares of the tax dollars,” said Grimsley.

The federal government gave Cabarrus County Schools this pot of money to dole out.

Grimsley says the superintendent recommended Tuesday night that teachers get a $1,000 bonus from that pot of money, and the board will talk about that more at its meeting on February 7.