The Houston County School board is looking at fixing its salary schedule.

The salary schedule has come up in many discussions among board members and central office officials since January 2019, but little action has been taken to fix it, until Monday night’s board meeting.

At the transportation department’s request, Human Resources Supervisor Rhonda Lassiter made a side-by-side comparison of employee salaries from surrounding districts.

“I’ve had a lot of concerns about our salary schedule and met with the transportation department a couple of times and they have great concerns regarding the salary schedule,” Lassiter said. “I think it deserves to be looked at and consideration be made…”

Board chairman Vince Wade said the salary schedule was “all over the place” but the board members do not have the power to change anything unless Superintendent David Sewell officially recommends an action. He also recommended that other county districts in the state with comparable student bodies be included in the comparison.

While Dothan City is comparable in the number of students enrolled, Wade said it should not be included in a side-by-side comparison.

“It’s hard to gauge city schools because we’re funded a lot differently,” Wade said.

Only recently, Sewell recommended a change to the Maintenance Supervisor position to incorporate a $15,000 supplement into the annual salary, using the current supervisor’s wage as an indicator. His salary was raised from $44,000 to $69,000 annually, while still receiving one of the $15,000 supplements.

Employees from the transportation department including a longtime bus driver pleaded with the board to consider a raise to bus drivers and bus driver aides when reviewing the schedule.

“We travel this county with 100 and something buses and we feel like our salary schedule is pretty low,” Bobby Clemmons, a longtime bus driver, told the board. “We’ve got aides on the special needs bus that have to take care of all the special needs people, wheelchair people, and everything, and they’re at least $2,000 below us. I feel like an aide on a bus is just as important as a bus driver.”

Wade added that a salary study had been completed a few years ago, but there has been no action taken.

“Of course, we can’t give everyone a giant pay raise, but we do want to be fair,” Wade said. “We appreciate what you guys do.”

This week:

>> The Henry County Youth Leadership class visited Wallace Community College – Dothan Wednesday to see what the Criminal Justice program had to offer. The students started out the day by learning about the court systems, touring a jail, and speaking with law enforcement. The students heard from faculty about dual enrollment and programs offered at Wallace, and then checked out the criminal justice simulator.

>> The Cottonwood FFA was recently selected as a winner of the 2019 Bayer Farm for Good Sweepstakes. The department was nominated by a local farmer, Dennis McCord. As a winner, the department received $5,000. They plan on using the donation towards making improvements at their school farm.

Upcoming:

>> Dothan City Schools will hold a board meeting at 5 p.m. Monday at Beverlye Intermediate School.

>> Houston County Schools will hold a board meeting at 5 p.m. Monday at central office.

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