The State Board of Education approved a resolution seven to three that would allow future Board members to apply for additional compensation. The vote was seven to three. Resolution 23 was listed under “Miscellaneous Resolutions,” and entitled “Resolution for Additional Compensation Hours for Members of the State Board of Education.”
The proposal had been discussed for several months in the Executive Committee, chaired by President Laura Kohler. The Board barely had a quorum since nine members of the nineteen member board were not present, including Steve Dackin, Stephanie Dodd, Meryl Johnson, Linda Haycock, Reginald Wilkinson, Lisa Woods, Nick Owens, Antoinette Miranda and Eric Poklar.
The “no” votes were Kilgore, Jenny Kohler and Mike Toal. Cindy Collins, Sarah Fowler, John Hagan, Kirsten Hill, Martha Manchester, Mark Lamoncha and Charlotte McGuire voted “yes.” The resolution passed.
The purpose of the resolution was to provide a limited amount of additional dollars to members who spend time outside of board meetings visiting schools, meeting with parents, teachers and administrators and researching education issues. The additional compensation is capped and not available for current members unless they are elected or appointed to a new term.
Board President Laura Kohler, who voted against the compensation, stated, “…I find myself concerned about dollars that are flowing in this direction, and so I’m going to have to respectfully vote no.”
The money issue was also raised in a previous meeting by Superintendent Paolo DeMaria.
Sarah Fowler, one of the elected members who supported the resolution, told The Ohio Star, “State Board of Education members spend many hours each month responding to constituent needs and preparing for board policy discussions. At the present time, the compensation policy allows a board member to be paid for time spent in an in-person meeting with a constituent, but not for a phone call or researching and preparing an email the with requested information.”
“I represent over a million people in six counties and cannot be compensated for the two to six hours each week spent responding to emails and phone calls, however, if I met with each those people in person, it would be compensated.”
“Our goal is to clarify the policy manual so that board members can be compensated for at least a portion of the hours spent meeting the needs of their constituency through the most practical and efficient means available: in-person, phone call or email,” she stated.
According to the Dispatch, Board members currently receive, $32.00 per hour. Based upon hours worked they can earn up to $4,481.40, not including travel and expenses. The State Superintendent receives around $200,000, if he earns his $20,000 bonus. That amount does not include benefits or car allowance. If all board members claimed the maximum compensation allowed, it would cost an additional $125,000.
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