• 73°

School board approves salary increase for CSFO

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Chilton County Board of Education approved a new contract for the Chief School Financial Officer during a rare Saturday meeting on Sept. 11.

Board President Pam Price, Vice President Jaqueline Sullivan and members Chris Smith and Diane Calloway voted in favor. Brad Carter voted against. Board members Lori Patterson and Keith Moore were absent.

The contract increases the salary for CSFO Alisa Benson to $120,000 a year for three years, but removes percentage pay increases. The CSFO would still receive any state-mandated raises.

“The old way it was written up she received a 2% pay raise every year for three years,” Price said.

This would be in addition to any raises given at the state level.

Carter expressed concern that this salary increase was not included in the budget that the board approved at its last meeting.

“I have heard in the last several meetings about the financial status of the board of education, and I did not feel this was a good move with a raise,” Carter said. “We have some of the best teachers in the state, and we are losing them left and right to other counties. I just did not think it was fair to do this at this time.”

In the meeting when the budget was passed, the board was told by the CSFO that funds were limited for extra items.

Price said she thought the increase given in the new contract would be close to what it would have been at the end of the old contract. She said since the new contract removes raises each year, the school system would likely come close to paying the same amount under either contract.

Benson had at least two years left on her current contract, according to Price.

Price said a new contract was considered because “we were afraid we were going to lose her.”

“I felt like we owed it to her to approve the contract,” Price said of why it was approved in a special called meeting, rather than waiting until the Sept. 16 regular board meeting.

Carter asked what revenue was used to pay the CSFO salary. Price said it was paid with local funding.

The next meeting of the Board of Education will be Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. at LeCroy Career Technical Center.