Winona, MN (WXOW) - A Winona Elementary School teacher received a $13,000 donation Friday.
The reason is uplifting, but a bit complex.
Matt Reuter is the teacher. He's also a reservist in the Air Force.
Matt was called to active duty in Afghanistan. He returned last year.
In Matt's case, he made less money while serving in the military than he would have as a teacher, but there is a law in Minnesota designed to make up the salary difference for educators.
It's called the Differential Pay Benefit. The same law also required service members to pay for their substitutes while they were on active duty, and that requirement cut into the benefit.
"For me, losing $11,300? If you have a mortgage, a home mortgage, you still have to pay for your heat and electricity. My teacher pay is a lot more than my military pay," said Reuter.
Fortunately, the community raised money to help make the donation.
Reuter's case had a primary role in changing the law. Now, the School District cannot deduct the cost of the substitute from the differential pay.
The district is responsible for the cost of the substitute.
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