VALDOSTA – A possible pay raise for the Valdosta Board of Education will not go before the General Assembly due to the "climate of the board."
A state legislator has pulled a resolution to increase city school board pay from legislative consideration, according to board member Kelly Wilson.
“That resolution that we all signed has been pulled by our representative; I didn't know if everyone knew that,” Wilson said Tuesday during the school board meeting.
School board member Warren Lee asked why the resolution had been pulled.
“They said just considering the climate of the board right now that they didn't feel they could support the resolution and declined to put it on the floor,” Wilson replied.
On Oct. 8, 2019, the school board voted to increase its pay from $50 per meeting to $300 per month beginning in June. A resolution must be passed by the board so legislators can introduce a bill to amend the Valdosta City Schools Charter to reflect the pay change.
In January, the pay increase resolution was approved unanimously and was passed to state Rep. Dexter Sharper. Wilson did not say if it was Sharper or another area legislator who had pulled the resolution.
The pay raise decision comes after contentious and public votes to not renew the contract of Valdosta High School head football coach Alan Rodemaker.
Lee asked for board member compensation to be added to the agenda for the next meeting.
An agenda item was also removed from the agenda at the start of the meeting.
Wilson requested the agenda item titled “procedure and protocol for contacting legal counsel."
Lee said he was concerned with discussing the agenda item with Board Chair Trey Sherwood absent Tuesday. Lee said he did not have adequate information regarding the item.
“I put this on the agenda to discuss and I think what you are asking is that you would like the chair to be at the meeting when we discuss this,” Wilson said.
“As well as some information of what we will be discussing,” Lee added.
The board voted unanimously to strike the agenda item.
When The Valdosta Daily Times asked about the agenda item after the meeting, Wilson said she wanted clarification on the proper channels for a board member to contact the board's attorney, which costs money, because an unnamed board member had contacted the attorney without using proper channels.
She said the issue would be discussed in more detail at the next regular board meeting.
A public forum will be held 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, at Pinevale Elementary School and the next board meeting will be 7 p.m., March 10.
Desiree Carver is a reporter at the Valdosta Daily Times. She can be reached at (229) 244-3400 ext. 1215.