Trustees talk two hours, say no raise for Price

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 15, 2004

[6/15/04]School board members met for more than two hours Monday in a closed session at Kings Community Center, citing discussion of the superintendent’s salary.

Vicksburg Warren School District Superintendent James Price, who was hired on a 3-2 vote from the board a year ago, is in Orlando on school business and has been paid $104,000 for his first year as the top administrator.

“We looked at the budget and decided not to give Dr. Price a raise,” said Jan Daigre, board president and District 4 trustee. “We couldn’t come up with the money.”

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She said though the board made the decision, no action was taken.

Legally, the board can meet without the superintendent only when discussing his salary, and closed sessions are allowed when discussing personnel or discipline matters, according to policy set by the Board of Trustees.

Price’s salary is the same as his predecessor, Donald Oakes, who retired last June 30.

“He is not under scrutiny,” Daigre said. “It’s just something we’d like to look at.”

In December, the five-member board met in closed session to discuss Price’s upcoming evaluation.

Price has not been evaluated since he took office July 1.

“We’re working on it,” Daigre said. “That’s something we would discuss with him in an open meeting.”

Daigre said she was not aware that Price was out of town when notice of the called meeting was announced at 3 p.m. Monday.

The board normally meets monthly in a new building constructed last year adjacent to administrative offices on Mission 66.

Daigre said the board met at the community center, which is not school property, because it was a convenient location. District 3 Trustee Betty Tolliver is assistant director of youth services at the center.

The board last met Thursday for a budget session and voted unanimously not to raise tax rates and keep spending within the state’s allocation plus reserves. The projected budget is $3 million higher, with 6 percent state-set raises for teachers.