COVINGTON, Ga. - The Newton County School System Board of Education approved a pay increase for board members to go into effect in 2020. The increase will take each board member's pay from $600 a month to $1,200 a month.
The BOE member monthly rate has not seen a drastic change in 28 years. In 1991 the enrollment was only 8,000 students and the monthly pay rate was $400. Prior to the increase, in 2019, there was an enrollment of 20,000 students and the monthly pay rate was $600.
The conversation of increasing the monthly pay rate began in 2016 and was approved until May 2017 by the Secretary of State.
“This is something we actually started to discuss in 2016 and finally got approved in 2017. However, we never acted upon it. People are going to skip that entire line so I just wanted to reiterate that and point that out," Shakila Henderson-Baker said.
With the increase, board members will see a $0.72 per pupil increase, which is still $0.18 less than the per-pupil pay rate from 1991.
“We were unable to act until now," NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey said. "It’s also really important to point out that the budget in 2001 was 66 million dollars and in 2019 it’s 200 million dollars. That’s a sufficient change of the funds you have to oversee, and that’s part of your responsibility as board members to oversee [the] budget, and 28 years is a really long time to not address that change. I think it’s time for the decision to be made."