Some school-district employees are on the payroll despite not working

As school districts nationwide prepare to start school via distance learning, several staff members will remain on the payroll despite not working.

We’re talking about workers who cannot telework but are also not reporting to work because campuses remain closed.

Taxpayer dollars are in the mix.

READ MORE: Here's what DC, Maryland and Virginia school districts have planned for the fall

Arlington Public Schools is one of several school districts planning to keep bus drivers, custodial staff, cafeteria workers and more on the payroll even as school start the school year off via distance learning.

Arlington Public Schools plans to pay those workers who can’t telework at least through the first quarter which ends November 2nd. 

Prince William County Public Schools is planning to do the same.

Loudoun County Public Schools says custodial staff is now working to clean schools and maintain the exterior. Some bus drivers, cafeteria workers and substitute teachers are working in the meals programs. 

Fairfax County Public Schools says bus drivers will stay on the payroll until at least June.

Arlington Public Schools says the Superintendent presented plans at a July 30 school Board meeting for staff who cannot carry out their regularly assigned duties via telework but have a regular schedule and pay, including food service, bus drivers and attendants and Extended Day staff. 

APS says the goal during this time is to retain highly qualified and talented workforce.

But what happens when they’re not working?

Arlington Public Schools says its plan is to continue to pay these employees through the first quarter and then evaluate the next steps.

Arlington Now which first reported this story says more than 3-million dollars.

School districts are exploring possibilities for staff in these positions to work in different, temporary roles to meet student and family needs during full-time distance learning.

That could include:

- direct support to connect with students and families

- assisting with childcare needs

- virtual social-emotional learning student activities and support.