May 14, 2014 10:14:36 AM
The Columbus Municipal School Board will be able to issue teacher contracts after the school board voted to approve employee salaries Wednesday morning at a specially called meeting.
In a 2-2 vote with board president Angela Verdell abstaining, the motion to approve the 2014-2015 salary schedule carried. Verdell did not explain why she did not vote.
Board members Jason Spears and Glenn Lautzenhiser voted in favor, with board members Greg Lewis and Currie Fisher opposing.
Before Spears made a motion to approve the salary schedule, Lewis said he would like to approve only the salaries recommended by the Mississippi Department of Education. MDE recommends salaries for teachers but does not offer salary recommendation for support staff. Lewis questioned how the salary recommendations of the support staff were determined.
Interim Superintendent Edna McGill said she and school officials at Lowndes County compared salaries of their support staff and the support staff in five area districts. McGill said she felt the salary recommendations were in line.
Verdell said her concern with the proposed raises dealt with job title clarification, noting that CMSD has a business manager and not a business administrator. MDE recommends a salary for a business administrator but not a business manager.
McGill said in the future, her office would work to ensure job titles were aligned with those of the MDE.
The board also voted to fund a one-time expenditure to purchase new textbooks and a special education bus. The board voted to approve purchasing the textbooks and the bus during Monday night's board meeting but did not vote to fund them.
The textbooks will cost the district $505,979.02. The bus will cost $87,500.
Sarah Fowler covers crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
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