Shelby Co. Commission votes against $20K raise for school board - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Shelby Co. Commission votes against $20K raise for school board

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(WMC-TV) - The Shelby County Commission voted Monday not to give the Shelby County School Board $20,000 raises. This is the first of three readings by the full county commission.

The commission needed nine votes to approve the pay raise for the SCS board. The vote was seven in favor and six against.

Commissioner Mike Ritz proposed the pay raises for the seven-member board.

"I think this is an opportunity to get them started on a good road," said Ritz. "If we do it now, it probably won't get done again for another 10 years."

Commissioners debated last week on the proposal that would raise school board members' salaries from around $4,200 to about $25,000.

Shelby County School Board members' salaries are much lower than school board members at districts of comparable size. For example, in Nashville, school board members receive $14,000 each year.

Regardless, during the discussions about the possibility of the pay raises, people who were both for the raises and against them spoke up.

Commissioner Chris Thomas does not agree with the raise. He says it is not about the money, but instead, priorities. Thomas says teachers are not getting paid enough, and the commission should worry more about people losing their jobs.

Ritz said the raise was not meant to attract people who want to make being on the board a full-time job, but instead, it would have been a way to continue attracting high quality board members, while compensating them more for their time.

County commissioners and city council members get paid $30,000 a year for their elected positions.

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