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Lauderdale County school employees receive raises

By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
May 16, 2003
Lauderdale County public school principals, bus drivers and cafeteria workers will receive a 6 percent across-the-board pay raise for the 2003-2004 school year.
County school board members approved the raise 3-2. Board members Barbara Jones, Pam Frazier and Samantha Boutwell voted for the pay raise; Robbie Hayes and Scott Sollie voted against them.
The vote came during the regular school board meeting on Thursday.
The raises will cost the county school district $222,000 a year. Teachers and teacher assistants will receive raises this fall that are funded by the state not the county.
Lauderdale County School Superintendent David Little and Assistant Superintendent David Mosley will not receive a pay raise.
Hayes said she opposed 6 percent raises for county school district employees because she favored a lower 4 percent increase.
But Jones said the county should give raises now while it can afford to do so.
The school board also heard from local businessman Morris Nicholson, who asked permission to build an access road between Virginia Drive and the road that surrounds Bonita Lakes Mall.
The school board owns the land that houses and surrounds the mall.
Nicholson said he wants to develop the land across from the Sears automotive site and a connecting road would make that possible. No formal action was taken on the matter.
The board also approved a bid by local businessman Andy Smith of 3 Oak Farms Landscape Management Services, who offered to plant grass in front of Northeast Middle School to make the location more attractive.
Smith did not attend the meeting, but Little said Smith offered his service free of charge. Board members voted to pay $2,000 for the soil to plant the grass.
Before the formal meeting, board members met in a one-hour work session to discuss budget issues. No formal action was taken during the session.
Board members discussed adding six new teachers to the district.
They also talked in general about activity funds, new computers at the Bonita Alternative School, new lights at West Lauderdale High School and new computer software to assist each school in the county in self-assessment.
Little suggested the new software after state Superintendent of Education Henry Johnson spoke to educators at Mississippi State University-Meridian Campus on Tuesday.
During the meeting, Johnson suggested each school in Meridian and Lauderdale County create a way to assess school improvement on a regular basis.