CMCSS Board of Education splits budget amendment per commission request

During its April 27 meeting, the Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools Board of Education approved the commission’s request to separate the district’s pending budget amendment, which contains line items regarding teacher and staff pay raises and the schools director’s raise.

The Montgomery County Commission will decide May 10 whether the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System teachers and staff members will receive bonuses and 2% pay raises.

It will decide separately whether Director of Schools Millard House will receive a $65,000 pay increase.

During its April 27 meeting, the school board approved the commission’s request to separate the district’s pending budget amendment, which contains both items, into two-line items for next month’s vote.

When commissioners considered the budget amendment April 12, Commissioner David Harper requested a deferral on the budget amendment, so the body could ask the school board to separate the two items.

On April 20, the board approved the first motion, submitted by board member Josh Baggett, to split the request into two items and send with it the line item regarding the teacher and staff pay increases.

Board member Kent Griffy made another motion to send House’s salary portion back to the commission.

In February, the school board voted in favor of increasing House’s annual salary from $165,000 to $230,000 per year.

By placing the two items into one budget amendment, Commissioner Jason Knight said he felt the school board was using the teacher’s salary increase proposal as a tool to support an exorbitant pay increase for House.

School board member Charlie Patterson said he supported both line items of the budget, but he was concerned with the commission’s request.

“Mr. House has a legit contract with the school board,” Patterson said. “That was our decision, not the county commission’s decision. Their commission is to fund our budget, not tell us how to do line items.”

Board member Jimmie Garland thanked House for his leadership and the teachers for their work.

“I would like to thank Mr. House for stepping up and asking us to do [this],” Garland said. “It’s good to have a team to make sure the best teachers in the world, in the state of Tennessee, get what they deserve.”

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