COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Emotions flared during the Muscogee County School Board meeting. The main topic at hand - a proposed three percent pay increase for Superintendent David Lewis.
A majority of 7-2 voted in favor of the raise, which would result in nearly an additional $5,200 a year, according to MCSD communications director Mercedes Parham. School Board member Frank Myers said he doesn't think it's the best way to build morale.
"Here we are giving the superintendent a three percent raise when the teachers are only getting a two percent raise this year," said Myers. "I just don't think that the best way to build morale in the school system, and I think, as school board members, it's on us where we should treat everybody fairly."
Myers also said he thinks the superintendent should have just kept his present salary and continued for another year. Myers and John Thomas were the only two to vote against the raise. Parents told News Leader 9 they remain excited about what the school board is implementing for the students.
"I'm excited about what the board is doing," said Lisa Jenkins. "The district is moving forward. When Dr. Lewis came and we were at 23 failing schools and now we're down to five. We're doing a phenomenal job."
The school board also approved the hire of JoAnn Redden as the new director of the exceptional student's program. A majority vote of 6-2-1 hired Redden; Myers and Thomas voted against the superintendent's recommendation, and board member Vanessa Jackson abstained from the decision.
In recent weeks, MCSD has worked to address issues with its budget and staffing, especially in regards to a shortage of bus drivers. The district has said it remains at 60 percent from being fully staffed. At the meeting, board members stated they are looking to hire more drivers as soon as possible.