No pay raise for Cobb school board members

The Cobb County School Board rejected a proposal tha would have raised their salaries.

The Cobb County School Board rejected a proposal tha would have raised their salaries.

Cobb County School Board members won’t see a change anytime soon in how much they are paid to represent the parents and children of the district.

Board members currently make $19,000 a year while the board chair rakes in $22,800 annually. A proposal by board member David Morgan would have increased the salary to $22,800 for board members and $26,600 for the board chair. All the school board positions are considered part time.

The board on Thursday voted to reject the measure 3-4, with Dr. Jaha Howard, Brad Wheeler, Randy Scamihorn and Board Chairman David Chastain voting against Morgan’s proposal.

Morgan, who brought his proposal up for discussion at the board’s Thursday work session, said it was past time for the board members to get a raise since their current salary has been the same since 2003.

“Sitting in this seat is not easy, and I think it is justifiable and warranted that we have a pay raise,” he said.

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Board member Charisse Davis, who voted in favor of the idea, said bumping up the annual salary could attract a more diverse crop of candidates to run for seats on the School Board. She also said the nature of the job has changed so that board members are doing a lot more than attending monthly meetings.

“I though what he proposed was very reasonable,” she said of Morgan’s idea.

School board compensation varies around metro Atlanta. Marietta City Schools board members make $6,912 annually while the board chair’s annual salary is $8,160. In Gwinnett, those board members are compensated $17,342 annually. DeKalb school board members are paid $18,000 a year and receive $5,400 in travel expenses. Atlanta Public Schools board members make $15,170 a year.

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Howard said he voted against the proposal because getting much-needed school construction projects off the ground are a higher priority. In his post, Howard is anxious to see the district move ahead on replacement facilities for Campbell Middle School and Campbell and Pebblebrook high schools.

“I feel uncomfortable giving myself a pay raise until these projects are voted and approved in the future,” he said

Board Chair David Chastain, along with board member Brad Wheeler, said they voted down the pay proposal because Cobb County School Board members are already paid more than their counterparts in other counties.

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