Harnett County School Board members disagreed Thursday night on how to spend money that may be recovered from a lawsuit.
School Board Chairman Bill Morris said the board may receive funds from what he called “a new source of revenue.” He said the money, approximately $200,000, is coming back after a lawsuit was settled. Board member Ray Bryant made a motion, seconded by Vivian Bennett to accept the money.
Mr. Morris asked Mr. Bryant to amend the motion to say the money would be allotted for staff pay increases. Neither Mr. Bryant nor Mrs. Bennett would amend the motion.
“I was ready to go on record to give pay increases to staff,” Mr. Morris said. “Some of our uncertified staff didn’t get raises this year.” Certified staff members got a $1,500 raise as part of this year’s budget.
Mr. Bryant, a retired teacher, said he was not against pay raises for teachers. He said he wants to wait until the situation is settled before allocating money. “I would never be against a pay raise for teachers,” Mr. Bryant said. “I just don’t want to go and promise them something before we even have the money in our hands.”
He said Mr. Morris had other motives.
“He is trying to use this as a political thing,” Mr. Bryant said. “I absolutely know our teachers need the money, but I can’t see making promises without the money.” Both Mr. Morris and Mr. Bryant are running for re-election.
The motion passed unanimously without the stipulation that the money be used for teacher pay increases. Story courtesy The Daily Record