By Aarron Fleming
Collierville’s board of education could see its first ever raise if they can score a favorable vote at the town’s board of mayor and alderman meeting on Monday.
On June 22, the school board passed a resolution asking the board of mayor and alderman to approve what would be its first raise since its inception seven years ago.
The resolution, which has already been passed twice, will face a third and final vote at Monday’s meeting.
If passed again, the raise would make the school board the third highest paid in Memphis.
The new pay rate would be calculated as the average of what all the other districts in Memphis are paying their boards.
Because of how its calculated, Collierville’s current ordinance for its school board, which includes its annual pay, would have to be rewritten.
The ordinance would be amended to include a requirement to recalculate the rate every year to reflect what the other districts in Memphis are paying.
Collierville Schools superintendent, Gary Lilly, who has been an advocate for raising the board’s pay, drafted the resolution.
“I just thought it was the right thing to do,” he said.
Passing Lilly’s resolution would mark the first time that Collierville’s school board has ever been given a raise, which is one of the main reasons why Lilly said that he has been pushing for it.
Lilly also said that the work that the board does, which includes attending several monthly meetings, researching educational policies, and campaigning for re-election, puts its members under a lot of stress and makes them take time away from their families.
A raise would more adequately compensate them for that work, he said.
The current pay that they receive has remained the same since the board was created in August 2013.
At that time, the annual pay for members was set at $2,400, in line with the state required minimum.
Lilly’s resolution would set the new rate as the average of what all the other districts are paying both their regular members and their chairmen.
“It seemed like a fairway to do it so that you don’t have to go back and recalculate it every year,” Lily said.
Lilly has proposed to give the board a total of $14,701 for the raises which will come out of the district’s general purpose school fund.
He has been planning for the raises for a while, stating that he allocated the money in the fund before he even drafted the resolution.
While it may not seem like a lot for an entire year’s worth of work, the raises would make the board the third highest paid school board in Memphis.
According to Lilly’s resolution, which lists how much each district pays its school board, Shelby County Schools pays its board the most at $9,375 annually for regular members and $15,000 for its chairman.
Arlington Community Schools falls in second paying its regular members $6,172 annually and its chairman $6,732.
Collierville Schools is tied for dead last with the Lakeland School System. The two districts are the only ones that still pay their boards the state required minimum.
Collierville’s school board currently has four regular members, including its vice-chair.
Under Lilly’s resolution, each one would see an additional $2,699 a year, giving them all a total $5,099.
Collierville would pay its school board chairman more than the other members, similar to SCS and ACS.
The resolution would give the chairman an additional $3,905 a year, which is just over $1,200 more than everyone else.
This would bring their total pay to $6,305.
Also, because the raise is tied to what the other districts are paying, if their school boards get a raise, so would Collierville’s.
On the other hand, if they don’t get one for a while, neither would Collierville’s, potentially trapping it in another monetary dry spell.
Lilly made clear that while members of the board aren’t in it for the money, they aren’t necessarily displeased about the possibility of a raise, either.
“It’s a nice token for what they do, but it’s not why they do it,” he said.