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Higher pay for DeKalb school administrators draws fire | Business

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Higher pay for DeKalb school administrators draws fire

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- Just a few months ago, DeKalb County's School Board was cutting millions from its budget and eliminating jobs.

Now some are wondering how they can approve raises for 4 top school administrators, especially with very little public notice.

"We didn't even have a full board to even vote on the decision to give those particular people raises," DeKalb County parent Cheryl Miller told 11Alive News.

The community school activist accuses the school system of pulling a fast one.

They only gave a few hours notice that the salary hikes would be on the agenda for a Monday meeting attended by only five of nine board members.

At the request of new Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson, the board voted 3-to-2 to give higher salaries to four of her top administrators, ranging from $3,400 to $4,000 a year more.

"If anything, I think all the administrators, especially the top tier of the administration, should be taking pay cuts," parent Miller told 11Alive on Tuesday.

Board Chairman Eugene Walker was one of the two who voted 'no', saying the school system was supposed to be in an austerity mode.

A spokesman for the school system defended the higher salaries, not as raises, but as money those administrators deserve for being given more important jobs with added responsibility.

"If you go out, you get a new job, you should get paid commensurate with that job and with the responsibility and authority with that job," said system spokesman Jeff Dickerson.

As for why so little advance notice was given of the action, the system said the board had given the new superintendent until the end of September to handle the pay increases and she realized she had to do it this week.