RALEIGH, N.C. — More than 100 North Carolina teachers who got bonuses have been told they must pay the money back because it was a mistake.

News outlets report 124 Wake County Public School System teachers mistakenly received the bonus because of a clerical error. State law requires the teachers to return the money, and district officials on Thursday began contacting affected teachers.

Teachers can return the money either by writing a check to the district or by paying it back in installments over time. The money for elementary and middle school teachers averaged $3,000. High school teachers received a range of cash from $25 to $3,500.

The bonuses were intended for teachers who are considered to be in the top 25 percent for effectiveness, which is determined by student achievement levels.

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