BOE erred in self-imposed salary cut

Board shaved about $5,500 from earnings, won’t get it back

JONESBORO — When the Clayton County Board of Education decided to join district employees by taking a 5-percent salary cut in 2011, its members did not realize they were not supposed to.

School spokesman David Waller said the district’s new chief financial officer, Ken Thompson, alerted the board of its mistake this week.

Waller said members voted to reduce their salaries as a good faith gesture of shared sacrifice. But members cannot determine their salaries, the legislative delegation does.

He said each member is paid roughly $1,000 a month, while the board chair receives about $1,200 a month. So, the error was more than $5,500 cut from their salaries in fiscal year 2012.

“We need to follow the law,” said Charlton Bivins of District 9. “That’s what the board was supposed to have.”

Jessie Goree of District 3 was also part of that board.

“This board can’t make a decision on my salary,” said Goree. “It’s up to the delegation. [And] it’s not like our salaries are going to make a major dent on what we’re doing here.”

Waller said there are no plans to reimburse the members who voted to have the pay cut.