PWCS School Board Give Big Raise to Next Year’s Board

| March 14, 2019 | 0 Comments | News

Chairman Lateef, Diane Raulston, Lillie Jessie and Loree Williams vote for the school board raises as originally proposed in the FY20 budget.

The Prince William County School Board voted to give the next board a substantial rise in FY20 In its final budget markup session, Wednesday.

The current annual salary for school board members is $12 thousand and $14 thousand for the chair. The newly proposed salaries for FY20 are $26,520 and for chair is $29,040.*

The numbers reflect the percentages raises that the salaried staff received over the last 20 years.

This would be the first increase in salary for school board members since 2000. As such, salaries have not kept up with inflation or the increases other school board employees have received. It also has not accounted for an increased workload over the past 19 years.

The school division has grown substantially during that time. It has added three new high schools and numerous middle and elementary schools as the county quickly grew in size especially on the western end.

They also make less than county supervisors, although they control more than half of the county budget. District supervisors make $43,422 annually, while the chairman makes $49,452.

Still, only half of the school board members voted for such a dramatic increase. Gil Trenum of the Brentsville District proposed a more measured one saying “I think that is a big step all at once.”

His proposal was to pay board members $15 thousand a year, and the chairman $17.

In a vote was taken on a budget amendment at the Mar. 13 budget markup meeting**; the vote was 4:4. Willie Deutsch (Coles), Alyson Satterwhite (Gainesville) and Justin Wilk (Potomac) voted along with Trenum for his proposal.

Chairman Dr. Barbur Lateef, Lillie Jessie (Occoquan), Loree Williams (Woodbridge) and Diane Raulston (Neabsco) voted against it, thus supporting the larger raise built into the budget. There was little discussion.

Trenum is not running for school board this year. Satterwhite is running for chair, Deutsch is running again, and Wilk is undecided.

School board members had early noted that it was a stellar year for the budget. Deutsch called it a “Christmas tree.”

They said they were happy to get most of what they wanted this year, especially a 5% raise for educators.

Board members can only propose a raise during an election year, meaning if they did not pass an increase this year, the board would have to wait another four years.

School board positions are considered a part-time position and most members have full-time careers during the day.

Prince William County is the second largest school system in Virginia, and members are responsible for a budget of $1.13 billion. 

The school board will formally vote on the budget at their next meeting on Mar. 20, 2019.

UDPATE: As Trenum mentioned during the meeting, the raises may be in violation of Virginia Code as the difference between members and the chairman exceed $2,000. 

“I will be following up with the school division to make sure we are following the law,” Trenum said Thursday night.

Last update Mar 15 at 9:49 a.m. 

*PWCS sent updated information on these numbers.

** Vote was not a “straw poll” as previously indicated.

© 2019, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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