School Board Members Discuss Pay Raises for Principals

By: Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Jennifer Rizzi Email

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Kanawha County School Board member Becky Jordon says high school principals in the county are overworked and underpaid.

"They get burnt out, and it's not worth the pay being that low when they can go to another county and make more money," she said.

Jordon proposed giving them raises at Thursday night's school board meeting.

But lots of teachers and other district employees arrived to contest the proposal, saying it's unfair to reward only one set of workers.

"It's a slap in the face to other employees who haven't had a pay raise in many years...and will never be on the list to get one as far as I'm concerned," Dinah Adkins, president of the Kanawha County Education Association said.

Superintendent Ron Duerring recently got a raise of more than $7,000.

"I don't think they understand they should include teachers and other service employees who are working hard," Adkins said.

Jordon says she would like to increase the salaries of all employees but wants to concentrate on the biggest disparity. She says high school principals are ranked 25th in the state in terms of the pay scale.

"We can't do it all at once; it's too large of a system," she said. "Let's just start with our biggest iniquity at this time, which is our high school principals."

School Board President Pete Thaw says dishing out more cash just isn't possible in a district that's already dangerously in deficit.

"Before we do anything, we've got to figure out where we're going to get the money," he said. "And I'm not for taking it from a population that is already very, very strapped."

The school board previously voted to put an excess levy on the ballot in November to raise more funds.

No decisions were made at Thursday night's meeting, and no dollar amounts were suggested regarding raises.

School board members proposed looking at a long-term plan to reward all district employees.

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