Superintendent Will Schofield advocated on Monday night for monthly pay for members of the Hall County Board of Education to be raised from $650 per month to $1,000.
Schofield admitted the job of a board member doesn’t offer a livable wage for individuals and often pushes members to place board obligations above their full-time job. He stated the cost of campaigning for an election to become a board member and the time commitment once in the seat is “considerable.”
Schofield presented a resolution to raise the pay at Monday’s board meeting, and it was unanimously approved by the school board. The matter is now in the hands of the Hall County legislative delegation, which would have to authorize the pay bump.
Nath Morris, vice chairman of the school board, said the raise proposal was less for the benefit of the current members and more for future members.
Schofield said board members sacrifice significant amounts of their time, adding he’s asked Morris to miss his job obligations more than three times in one month. The pay raise would also make running for school board more attainable for those who couldn’t afford it based on the current salary, Schofield said.
“The delegation may decide they don’t want to take this forward but I felt it necessary to put this out there so that a single mom, dad or someone working two to three jobs could have the opportunity to serve on the board,” Schofield said.
State Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, told The Times he fully supports the decision to increase the board members’ monthly pay. But, he said, he doesn’t believe people run for the board of education expecting to make a living wage. Echoing Schofield, Miller said members deserve a pay increase due to costs of running a campaign and time requirements of the position.
“The monetary costs and price of campaigning is significant,” Miller said. “We need to make sure the pay is reasonable and accessible to all individuals on the socioeconomic sphere.”
Other members of the Hall County legislative delegation did not respond to requests for comment by press time.