“I know this is a rather awkward thing to have to do,” Loudoun County School Board Chairman Jeff Morse (Dulles) said, broaching the subject of pay raises for board members.
At the board meeting Tuesday, Morse suggested that the board consider approving a pay raise, the first one in 10 years. Any raise this board OK’d would not go into effect until the next board is seated in January 2020.
School Board members make $20,000 per year and the chairman makes $22,000. Unlike county supervisors, they do not have staff members.
The proposal drafted by Morse suggests providing a 10, 20 or 25 percent pay raise. At the 25 percent mark, board members’ pay would be boosted to $25,000 per year and the chairman’s pay up to $27,000.
Morse noted that, even if the board approved a 25 percent raise, it would still lag behind the pay raise schedule county teachers have seen the past 10 years. Since 2008, teachers’ pay has gone up 32 percent on average.
He also pointed to hefty raises recently approved by the county Board of Supervisors, that will equate to a 72 percent pay hike by 2023. A year ago, supervisors approved a 62 percent raise that begins in 2020, plus 5 percent increases for the following three years. That will bring the chairman’s pay up to $86,064, vice chairman up to $77,853, and supervisors’ pay to $70,916 by 2023.
With that said, Morse added, “I believe that in the interest of trying to sustain where we were in 2007 and the level of service we are providing, it would not be unfair or uncommon for us to evaluate our pay.”
Only one board member weighed in on the proposal. Joy Maloney (Broad Run) said that board members’ pay should not rival teachers’. “I’m not comfortable with how that’s represented,” she added. She said she’s open to considering a raise. “This is not necessarily voting ourselves a raise. It’s voting the next board a raise and it’s not assured that any of us will be on the next board.”
The board could vote on raises as early as its June 26 meeting.