Flagler School Board Members Forego $91 Raise and Stick With $30,442 Annual Salary
FlaglerLive | October 4, 2012
For the second year in a row, Flagler County School Board members have decided to take neither a raise nor a pay-cut. They voted 4-0 on Tuesday to keep their existing annual salary of $30,442.
“The law requires that the county officers address on an annual basis their compensation,” Tom Tant, the district’s finance director, said. This board has usually addressed the matter every October, at times with more contention than others, especially when Jim Guines was a member of the board. He contended year after year that board members should serve on a voluntary basis rather than take a salary. He gave his salary away in scholarships.
Florida taxpayers pay about $10.5 million to cover the salaries of their school board members, statewide–not including benefits and retirement pay, which significantly increases that sum.
Salaries are set by state law, though school boards can elect to take less than what the state allows. This year, Flagler board members were in line for a $90 raise (for the year). In what was mostly a symbolic move, the four board members agreed to forego the amount. (Board member Trevor Tucker was ill and didn’t take part in the vote.)
For the first time this year, a provision in law that limited school board salaries to no more than that of a starting teacher with a bachelor’s degree expired, which gave several districts a chance to see significant increases in school board salaries. The Florida School Board Association recommended to its members against taking the big pay raises.
The $30,442 in Flagler County remains well below the starting salary for a teacher of about $40,000 a year. The average teacher salary in Flagler is $48,000. Then again, school board members don’t work nearly as hard as teachers, or teacher aides. All the school board members have other jobs.
School board members’ salaries are still significantly higher than those of many other types of employees in the district. The lowest paid employees are food service workers, who make just under $14,000 a year on average. Bus drivers are paid $15,472, and custodians $22,231, on average. The chart below outlines key jobs in Flagler and neighboring districts.
Average Salaries for Selected School and District Positions:
Florida, Flagler, Volusia and St. Johns Counties, 2010-11
|Principals, High School||90,742||104,246||90,087||93,346|
|District Staff, Business/Finance||87,735||85,038||88,564||89,182|
|School Board Members||30,442||33,467||34,009||30,880|
Florida School Board Member Salary By County, 2010-2011
|County School District||2010-2011 Salary||Unemployment
January 2011 (%)