UPDATED: MCS Board discusses potential bonus for Supt. Kriner Cash

(WMC-TV) - A Memphis City School Board meeting held Thursday to discuss Superintendent Kriner Cash's evaluation turned into talk of potentially offering him a bonus.

District 2 Commissioner Betty Mallott is among those who thinks Cash's performance is worthy of a bonus.

"I also believe that our attorney and Dr. Cash, in view of this, deserve a bonus this year," said Mallott.

Commissioner Martavius Jones then threw out a total.

"A bonus in the amount of $41,250," said Jones.

That would equal a 15 percent bonus.  For the last three years, Cash has not received a bonus.  He currently earns around $275,000 a year, plus a cost of living increase.

"We laid off 1,400 people, we've asked our retirees to take cuts in their Medicare and the health insurance plans to pay more co pays," said Commissioner Jeffrey Warren.

The concern over how a bonus would look to the community continued.

"Our goal is academic achievement, and for whatever reason, we aren't there yet," said Commissioner Tomeka Hart.

"We've asked employees to make serious sacrifices," said Commissioner Freda Williams.  "Some have with insurance and some entire salaries."

Cash said he has saved the district millions of dollars and a bonus would not be unreasonable.

"I won't apologize, nor will I make a statement about whether I will accept it, since it hasn't been offered by the board," said Cash.

The issue of bonuses was never voted on by the board, though a large chunk of the meeting was spent discussing it.  There was no word on if the subject would be brought up again.

An outraged public sounded off Friday on Action News 5's Facebook page.

"A bonus more than a teacher's salary? Lay offs, increased insurance, cuts in pay, highest poverty in US related to education....bonus??? Are you kidding me?" wrote Cheryl McCaskill Anderson.

"(The) Memphis City School Board should be thrown out for just considering doing such a thing!" added Linda Sullivan.

School board commissioner Kenneth Whalum expressed a similar sentiment.  

"It's a failing system, so how could anybody merit a bonus for performance in this environment?" he asked.

Whalum who was out of town during Thursday's board meeting, directed all the blame on his elected colleagues.  

"It's absolutely ludicrous at best, and politically naive at worst," he said. "It makes absolutely no sense."

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