Sen. Gardenhire wants to equal out school board pay

His bill would make sure they get the same pay as county commissioners in Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – A local state lawmaker is tacking the issue of school board pay.

Senator Todd Gardenhire is filing a bill to require that school board members get paid the same as county commissioners.

The only guidance now in Tennessee is they must be paid at least $3 per meeting.

Local officials set their actual pay.

He says while some counties even it out, there are some big discrepancies, like here in Hamilton County.

County Commissioners make just over $25,000 a year while school board members get just over $12,000.

“Most school board members work the same amount of time and sometimes longer hours than their counterparts on the local governing bodies,” added Sen. Gardenhire.  “Our education budget is over half of the county’s total budget which shows the importance we place on giving our students a quality education.  Yet, the school board members who chart the course to carry out that mission receive less than half of the compensation paid to our county commissioners who appropriate education funds.  This needs to change and my bill will put parity and fairness into the system.”

Gardenhire points out that school board members are expected to attend meetings, serve on committees, meet the public and keep up with all school issues.

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