During Monday’s Horry County School Board meeting, several citizens gave their input in reference to the board’s proposed pay increase. If approved, the 66 percent increase would make the board the state’s highest-paid at $15,966 per year.
Here’s a sampling of some of what was said:
“I got a .003 percent increase in my retirement and I didn’t even get a chance to pick my own increase. I think it’s horrible. That 66 percent increase can be used in food services, can be used in hiring another teacher. You’re asking for the highest salary in the state with the third-highest enrollment. Horry County ranks 63 out of 81 districts in the state (in graduation rates). That’s appalling. You don’t deserve a 66 percent raise.”
“I want a school board that’s full time. I don’t want to trust $500 million to part-time board members. I want to pay you and I want to hold you accountable. I think it’s fair, and I think it’s just and I think it’s right and I think it’s proper that we increase the stipend for board members.
Secondly, I think it’s equally important that we encourage grassroots people that live in the district where our children attend and be actively engaged in the district and run for political office. We can’t do that when you don’t pay enough for that to occur.
And I want to make sure that school board members are held accountable – that you’re paid fairly, that you’re paid justly. And if you fail, we ought not pay you back.”
“I’ve raised all of our children in the Horry County School system. Excellent teachers. Kudos to our school district. What I look at is our teachers are getting $200 a year for their classrooms. Of that to my understanding, $100 of it goes to ink cartridges. Our kids are our most important commodity. We have to invest in those kids. So I think we need to invest in those teachers because they’re what brings those children forward and makes our world better. Our teachers are so underpaid and we ask that they do so much after-hours. I’m not saying what you do isn’t important; it is. But 66 percent is an awful lot. I just don’t agree on you voting on it. I think let the public vote on it. We voted y’all here. We should vote on that as well.”
“When I first saw this I was aghast just like some of these other people. But then I started looking into it and I realized I don’t know what you do. I don’t know how much time you spend, I don’t know how much hours you put in. I’m gonna guess it’s probably a lot but I don’t really know. I would blame that on the school board and the school system. We need better reporting. We need to know as citizens of this county what you’re doing and how much traveling you have to do and how many meetings you have to go to. I don’t have a clue but basing on what I’ve read, it’s a lot. I want the best people working for this school board making sure that our schools give the best education, period. Bottom line is I don’t know if you deserve a raise because I don’t have the facts and figures. And I need to get the facts and figures.”
“I’m sorry, but I don’t see how a 66 percent pay increase helps the community or the children. We don’t know what you do. Who keeps track of your hours? Who keeps track of that? Is that all of you? I’d like to know how you justify the increase without letting us know what your hours are. What are you doing? What extra hours are you putting in? I’d like to know who writes the checks. I’d like to know are these checks going to be retroactive?
And the last thing I’d like to know is when you run for office, will you make your at-will pay increase as part of your platform? I did not know that you all got paid. … So I think if you run for office again you might want to make that part of your platform. I’d like to see how that works for you. And I agree with what has been said before – that you should put out what you do, how many hours you put in and who’s keeping track of it and where the money’s coming from.”
Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian