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Shelby County Commission approves second reading for school board pay raise

On Monday, the Shelby County Commission approved a pay increase for school board members that’s higher than the current pay, but not quite the $25,000 initially proposed, according to report from the Memphis Daily News.

The measure will need nine votes to pass on third and final reading. The commission will hold committee meetings on June 11 and June 25. Full meetings are on June 16 and June 30.

In January, Commissioner Mike Ritz asked to hold off for a month on another vote on whether to raise board members’ salaries as reported by The Commercial Appeal.

The original measure by Ritz was to boost board members from their current $4,200 a year to $25,000 with the chairman of the board going from $4,500 a year to $26,000 a year.

That failed on second reading and Commissioner Steve Mulroy amended it to be a raise to $15,000 for board members with $16,000 for the board chairman.

During previous commission discussions several commissioners said a pay increase wasn’t timely because the school district was facing drastic budget cuts. But Ritz and other commissioners said it was important that Memphis be able to attract highly-qualified candidates to lead the district. An attractive compensation would help in that endeavor, he said.

School board members in Nashville make $14,000 per year. According to a 2010 National School Board Association survey, almost half of the board members surveyed in districts with more than 15,000 students don’t make any money for serving on the board. But, for those that do get paid, only 9 percent make less than $5,000 a year.

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