MARIETTA — Though the Cobb school board gave a lukewarm response Thursday to board member David Morgan’s suggestion that it’s time its members received raises, the board did request its attorney to provide them an explanation of the proper process.

School board members are paid $19,000 per year, and the chair receives $22,800.

Morgan began the discussion, saying though the job is part time, the demands of sitting on the school board often exceed what the public realizes. He also pointed out that it has been more than 25 years since board members received raises.

“I do believe it’s time,” Morgan said. “I think that the county commissioners also have a demanding job, and I would say that their pay is significantly higher than ours.”

Cobb commissioners, who are part-time workers, receive annual pay ranging from $45,002 to $47,486, varying by commissioner, according to Ross Cavitt, a spokesman for the Cobb County government. Cobb Commission Chairman Mike Boyce is a full-time county employee and is paid $135,124 per year, Cavitt said.

Board member Randy Scamihorn said changing school board pay not only takes an act of the board but also of the Cobb Legislative Delegation. He said he was surprised that the raise in 1993 was able to best those hurdles, adding that $19,000 was a lot of money for the job in that year.

For now, Scamihorn said he’d rather attract prospective board members who aren’t just looking to make a salary.

“It’s very important that it stay a community service position,” he said.

Vice Chair Brad Wheeler agreed that the job of a board member is demanding, but echoed Scamihorn.

“This is not a career,” Wheeler said. “There’s never enough money for education, and I’d rather see the money for the people who are nurses, parapros, subs, people who are doing the job every day. I think the compensation is fine for what we’re doing.”

While she remained on the fence about the discussion item, board member Charisse Davis said there could be positive consequences of raises that would benefit the entire county, not just individual board members.

“I do think that with any public service, when you have increased pay, you actually attract more of a diverse group of candidates who can focus on the job and not have to work another job,” she said. “With that said, our pay is very much in line with other school districts.”

At the close of discussion, Morgan asked board attorney Clem Doyle to lay out for review the exact process for board members to follow should they seek a raise.

In other business, the board discussed a report on certain district capital projects provided by the Facilities and Technology Citizens Oversight Committee and collaborating with the Cobb County Board of Commissioners on zoning cases and other areas of mutual impact.

Public commenters discussed parent concerns over the condition of portable classrooms (trailers) at East Valley Elementary School; Kennesaw State University’s partnership with Campbell High School to give student teachers experience teaching in their fields; Alleged racism in Cobb schools and resident calls for district action; and Parent concerns about the quality of water at South Cobb High School.

The Cobb school board meets once a month at the board meeting room at 514 Glover St., Marietta.

Follow Thomas Hartwell on Twitter at twitter.com/MDJThomas.

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