SANDY The East Jordan School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to set the board's monthly compensation at a $1,000. That matches the compensation of the original Jordan School Board and the new West Jordan School Board.
The East board's vote followed a public hearing during which only one person showed up to speak. Robin Frodge, president of the Jordan Education Association, passed along opinions from teachers who feel board members are getting paid a lot while educators aren't.
"All of us in public education are used to doing more than we are compensated for," Frodge said. "It's a public service."
Board members defended their compensation, saying they are putting in many hours serving on the board. Some of the board members have full-time jobs as well.
"The pace has been unprecedented," said board president Tracy Cowdell. Board members pointed out Cowdell, an attorney, put in 40 hours of pro bono work drafting the contract for the new superintendent.
In response to Frodge's message, an initial motion setting the $1,000 stipend also called for limiting future increases to match the percentage for raises given to district teachers. That would be a better alternative than the board going many years with no increase and then having a large raise, said board member Mont Millerberg.
Some board members felt otherwise. Board member Ellen Wallace, participating in the meeting via teleconference, said she was part of the original Jordan Board when they voted to have a $1,000 stipend.
"I am fine with it, as is, for quite a long time," she said.
Members of the original Jordan board also serve on either the east or west board, allowing them to get paid for their work on that board as well. East board members Ellen Wallace, Tracy Cowdell and Sherril Taylor said they are taking only one stipend, however.
Kim Horiuchi, who also serves on both boards, said she is undecided. She added, however, if she chooses to accept both stipends, she may donate some or all of the pay to charity.In 2007, legislation sponsored by Rep. John Dougall, R-American Fork, gave school boards the same power as county commissions and city councils have to set their own compensation. In July 2007 the Jordan board voted to increase its compensation 300 percent, going from $3,000 to $12,000 annually. In November 2007 east-side residents voted to leave Jordan district and form their own school district.
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