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Flagler School Board Members Forego $91 Raise and Stick With $30,442 Annual Salary

| October 4, 2012

They’re sticking with $30,000: from near to far: John Fischer, Andy Dance, Sue Dickinson, Superintendent Janet Valentine (who has a $145,000 salary), Colleen Conklin and Trevor Tucker. (© FlaglerLive)

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

FlaglerSt. JohnsVolusiaFlorida
Principals, High School90,742104,24690,08793,346
Principals, Elem/Middle85,05291,43386,47686,476
Bus Drivers15,47221,29917,40717,643
Food Service13,99918,2069,80015,380
District Staff, Business/Finance87,73585,03888,56489,182
School Board Members30,44233,46734,00930,880
Source: Florida Department of Education / FlaglerLive Graph. The complete county-by-county, job-by-job stats are available here.

Florida School Board Member Salary By County, 2010-2011

County School District2010-2011 SalaryUnemployment
January 2011 (%)
Indian River32,11814.0
Palm Beach40,93212.0
Saint Johns33,54810.0
Saint Lucie35,35114.1
Santa Rosa32,21610.3
Source: Florida School Board Association, Florida labor department.

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16 Responses for “Flagler School Board Members Forego $91 Raise and Stick With $30,442 Annual Salary”

  1. Lor Cor says:

    Cool. Wonder if they’ll give *me* that raise; haven’t had one in a few years.

  2. blondee says:

    I feel this is an outrageous salary, considering the actual number of hours worked. I’ll bet the lower paid custodians and secretaries work a h*ll of a lot harder.

  3. Rain says:

    According to the chart I picked the wrong career path, I should have been a librarian!

  4. glad fly says:

    no wonder. with the $145K valentine is knocking down there’s not much left. is she really worth FIVE TIMES WHAT A MEMBER MAKES?????????????…give me a break……the smugness has bled over from the palm coast city commission to the school board.

  5. Gia says:

    Don’t forget benefits. They are very well paid for the job considering they only work less then 200 days/year.

  6. Out of curiosity says:

    Is this position considered full or part-time?

  7. PJ says:

    We have an excellent school board, many good things have come about with them and as always there is room for improvement that can me made for our children.

    Great move board, you were correct not to take a penny at this time when you are in a deficit.

  8. Liana G says:

    Paging Dr Guines…save our children!

    The taxpayers of dirt poor Flagler County are being burden with the high cost of unsustainable salaries in a classic case of “trickle-down economics” perpetuated by our very own gov’t. Where is the outrage over this? And what do these poor hardworking taxpayers get in return? Lousy test scores heaped upon a lousy education for their children!

    This in a district with an overwhelming white American majority population. Can’t blame these lousy scores and education results on minorities and their language barriers (a very small minority in this district). So what do we have here – poor white kids being exploited by privileged white adults. Shame! Shame! Shame!

    • MSFB says:

      No, you have lousy parents who won’t take the time to make sure their kids do what is necessary to get good grades. You can blame teachers till the cows come home but the ultimate responsibility fall back on the parents. Stupid parents = stupid children, wake up and take responsibility for your children!

    • Umm says:

      Liana G, If you trying to say that socioeconomic status plays a role in this as well, you are sadly mistaken. Children (of all races) will learn if they want to learn, and for those who don’t – they won’t. You cannot place this blame solely on the school/teachers/tests/etc. You as a parent (or perhaps you’re not) are also partially responsible for your child’s education, just as the child themselves is.

  9. Chad says:

    Maybe they will consider giving that to the Sheriff’s Office? They haven’t had a raise in 5 years. Meanwhile the cost of living has gone up substantially. Combine that with now contributing 3% to FRS which means 3% less each payday. Deputies make less now than when they started working for FCSO 5 years ago.

  10. roco says:

    Their present salary is 1,000% more then any of them are worth. They should be paid in accordance with their failures. If that was the case they would owe us money..

  11. Reality Check says:

    The tragedy in all of this is we only rent the education to our children, we put them through school for twelve years and they cannot come back after college. After all what is there to come back to? What jobs are in a two to three county area? We pay for their education but never recapture the benefit. There can be no generational residents here, a town where those who grew up here want to raise their children here. You cannot raise a family on a Wal-Mart salary (sorry Wal-Mart) but at eight to ten dollars per hour, you will not make ends meet. This County will be a ghost town unless our leaders get off their politically lazy asses and lure in some industry! People are moving here from other areas because it is cheap, not due to any form of industry or jobs, and for the love of God, do not dare to say any politician or government entity has any thing to do with people moving here due to a better way of life. The majority of people who will be lead into this county will be poor, section eight or deviants, just look at Palm Coast and what it is becoming. Our school district loves to talk about their A rating and even purchase banners to hang outside schools (why have an additional cost when you are in a supposed emergency financial mode) do these banners attract new students? Oh that is right if you live here you get to go to school here, no need to advertise. They waste more money in Government then you can imagine, it is time the FCSB had a third party audit to trim the fat, $62K a year for a librarian? Now they add an assistant superintendant, come on people, $145K is not enough for Valentine to run this small district alone? Then perhaps her competency should be questioned. Spending is so out of hand, and now the School Board wants to look like heroes for not taking a raise? I think not! They will parade the “A” rating as if it is some major accomplishment, I feel an A rating in an F rated sate (FL ranks in the upper 40 position) makes the FCSD the valedictorian at the GED graduation!

    PJ, They are the laughing stock of Flagler County, no raise, they gat A a $30,000 a year sallary for a part time job? our district stinks in the FL ratings! Never mind where FL stands in the national standing (in the 40s) and you consider they have done a good job? I wish I worked for you so I could sit back and relax and get a great yearly evaluation.

  12. JUST WONDERING says:

    Well that makes it all wonderful. These people do nothing but dwell on issues like what color children should wear to school and other important topics and walk away with 30,000.00 + a year. They don’t teach our young, they don’t guide our young, they sit on their cans and do very little and then boast that they are not taking a raise for the second year in a row. I am a healthcare worker (nurse to most of you) I take care of all kinds of people with all kinds of issues. I work a 12 hour shift of which I most of the time I miss meals and have to just make the break and go to the bathroom. This is a profession I choose I choose 41 years ago. I am still working full time, I have made the effort to keep skills to highest level and that was my choice. That’s the job. But on the other hand I have worked in the same facility for over 20 years, very proud of my hospital BUT I have not had a raise in several years. Should we post this….? Does this effect my job performance no!!! and we should not be giving kudos for these unproductive people for turning down 100.00. My next job wll be principal…they make way more than I do….Take some of this money and apply to real education, give it to the children.

  13. says:

    Reality, your comment is very well said

  14. susan says:

    I have lived here in Palm Coast for about 12 yrs. and have been saying the same thing. We need to vote out the same people that have held their office for 15 years or more. This stems down from the Tax payers off down to school board. It ‘s always the same one! No Industry No work!. Whjo’s paying the bills In Palm Coast? The residents don’t have the money anymore. Any place I go all I hear is how people are struggling to pay their water bill, Electric bill and how groceries keep going up. Goverment here in Palm coast xares very little about their residents. It is a shame.

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