County Commission Committee Passes Recommendation For School Board Pay Raise

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(Shelby County) A committee of Shelby County commissioners passed a recommendation Wednesday to give Shelby County School board members a $20,000 pay raise.

There will be more discussion about the recommendation in the coming days. The full commission will vote on it Monday.

Commissioner Mike Ritz is working to change the school board from 13 to nine members. This would mean six suburbs wouldn't have representation on the board.

At Wednesday's meeting, Ritz said the commission needs to show support for the "good school board," which is why he proposed the pay raise.

Those who support the pay increase say the new smaller school board worked hard to get the new district up and running, and has good community support.

School board members make about $4,200 per year now, while city council members and county commissioners make about $29,100 annually.

Commissioner Steve Mulroy said, "I think you need more than $4,000, which is a nominal sum, to attract quality people and reward them for their work."

Commissioner Chris Thomas, a former school board member, said the school board just spent more than $5 million in legal fees and cut teachers, and that he can't support it because school board isn't asking for it.

Thomas said, "Right now, the teachers deserve more money. The people in the classroom deserve more and our school board members aren't saying, 'Hey, we need a raise.'"

Commissioner Henri Brooks said, "You want the best people to make decisions about children and education."

She then said the school board doesn't pay enough.

Brooks said if the commission doesn't raise salaries, you get the "rich fat cats" to run education, because they're the only ones who can afford to run.

She said, "You don't want to establish a school board of billionaires who have absolutely no training, expertise, or training and advocacy for education."

Commissioner Terry Roland threw his hands up and shouted, "If they don't want the job, don't run for it!"

Roland went on to say, "How is that helping the kids? What you're doing is you're breaking the county."

"Highway 385 just opened -- can you say Piperton? Can you say Lewisburg, because that's where everybody is going to move to," he added.

Brooks responded quickly, saying, "Let me see the tail lights!"

That only caused Roland to fire back with: "Well, Commissioner Brooks, you and Commissioner Chism might be the only ones left here."

Brooks said that if good, qualified candidates can be attracted with more money, then the commission should approve the raise.

Roland then brought up missing money and the state taking over more schools. He also said that if they're running because of the money, then the county doesn't need "that kind of person."

In the end, the committee passed the recommendation.

WREG asked Shelby County School Board Chair Kevin Woods if he was in favor of the such a large increase.

He said the school board didn't ask for a raise, but questions why all local elected board members aren't paid the same, whether it's $4,000 or $30,000.


  • Byteme

    A $20,000 pay raise? Um, excuse me, this isn’t their ONLY job! So tell us…….where did they “find” the money for this. Amazing how they can “find” money for pay raises, yet cry about being broke on really important matters.

  • BF59

    I am like Byteme above. What the heck. Why should they get a pay raise first. The TEACHERS COME FIRST and you can ask any parent that question and they will most likely tell you that same thing. That is a 20,000.00 EACH so you take that 260,000.00 and apply it where it needs to be applied and that is the teachers we would all be better off. Heck if they get that kind of a raise they need to be in that OFFICE all day long and that there be their main jobs.

  • Audrey Grossman

    teachers excessed, no money even for paper, and $72m in additional cuts coming next year, but we’re giving each board member a $20k raise?!?! ABSURD. I hope the board has the integrity to refuse the raise.

  • L.M. Stone

    this is an injustice . what about teachers getting a raise. the board is inadequate .and does not deserve a raise.

  • Tom

    Raising the pay in order to attract better members doesn’t hold up. The currents members knew what the pay was when they took the job. If they’re in it for the money they need to find another line of work. Commissioners pay was raised and look what we got. You can bet that it won’t be long before the County Commission tries to give itself a raise also.

  • M Pflaum

    no one can justify this raise. $20K each? Obscene. I don’t live in Memphis or Shelby County but if I were a member of the board I’d be ashamed to accept or vote for this.

  • Nonya Bidness

    I am so glad that the suburban cities are getting out of that corrupt school system. See what happens when Memphis gets the votes on anything. They milk it until it is dead and then abandon it.

  • Don

    As I understand it the board did not ask for this raise. Shelby County commissioners who came up with this idea need to resign, Shelby county needs more like Terry Roland as he seems to be on the right track.
    Henri Brooks should be the first to go.

  • Doug

    Ironic that the headline above this one is “Authorities Searching for Armed Robbers”.

    Also, apparently, the sitting board does not consist of “good, qualified candidates” since they are there without the $20,000. Maybe they should all resign.

  • Cheryl Marty

    Bet anything Brooks buddies are in line or on the board or running. she NEVER does anything unless it’s a benifit to her. Nothing but a hood rat in a weave. and Just proved it.

  • Teacher first

    They don’t give teachers raises & don’t pay us anymore for continuing our education to better serve our students. Because the cost of insurance continues to rise, teachers’ pay has actually decreased every year for the last 4 years. Most people don’t work in jobs where you sign up to go backwards! The commission should resign immediately starting with Mike Ritz!! He’s a crook like the rest of them and will NOT be reelected to represent even the wildlife in Germantown.

Comments are closed.