Dougherty County School Board members won't get a raise - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty County School Board members won't get a raise

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Dougherty County School Board members apparently won't get the big raise they voted for themselves.     

State lawmakers tell us they'll block it. Those school board members haven't gotten a raise in years. They say it's time, but lawmakers who represent Dougherty County in the General Assembly say the timing couldn't be worse. Back in June, the school board voted 4 to 3 to give themselves a 300% raise from $250 a month to $1,000 a month.  But the General Assembly has to approve that extra pay.  It can't come up for a vote unless local lawmakers agree to introduce it.

Three of the four lawmakers say they won't support it.  School Board Member Velvet Riggins says the board deserves the raise.  But Senator Freddie Powell Sims says state lawmakers need to focus on ending teacher furloughs and restoring cuts to education funding rather than boosting pay for board members.

"We're hoping to give the teachers a little pay raise and make sure our rural school have adequate funding," said Freddie Powell Sims, State Senator.

"Most people get off work at 5 PM our job never stops, I have parents calling me, knocking on the doors, so it is just to compensate for some of the things we have to do," said Velvet Riggins, Dougherty County School board member.

Representative Winfred Dukes told WALB he hasn't studied the pay raise proposal but he would be willing to consider it. Senator Sims and Representatives Carol Fullerton and Gerald Greene tell us they will not vote for the pay raise. 

The Dougherty County board members who support the pay hike say they're paid much less than board members of similar-sized schools systems.     

The proposed pay raise would also increase the co-chairman's stipend to $1,100 a month and the chairman's to $1,200.

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