County schools eye higher pay

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 10, 2000

for substitute bus drivers


Staff Writer

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Oct. 9, 2000 10 PM

The Pike County Board of Education is considering whether or not to grant a request for higher substitute bus driver pay.

Monday, substitute bus driver Charlie Dunn addressed the board regarding the matter of more money for substitute drivers.

"We are here because we feel like we’re underpaid," Dunn said, representing the drivers.

Dunn said the substitutes have to pay the same amount for their license and go through the same training, but are paid much less.

"We’re all required to do the same job," Dunn told the board members.

Going back into the history of the issue, Dunn said 17 years ago, a substitute driver made $10 per day and that was increased to $15 per day, then. Now, they make $20 per trip.

"Regular bus driver pay has doubled," Dunn said, adding the substitute pay has only increased $5 in over 15 years.

He said substitute drivers "have a much harder time" because they often are unfamiliar with the route, plus have to maintain appropriate behavior on the bus.

Pike County Schools Superintendent John Key agreed to look into the matter, but said money problems hitting the system may prevent the board from increasing the pay.

He pointed out to Dunn, the board of education has had to terminate individuals because there is no money with which to pay them.

Key said the state used to provide a certain amount for substitutes, but Pike County paid more than that amount and had to make up the difference.

"They (the state) don’t really provide like they say they’re going to do," Key said.

He said the board "will analyze this" and see what can be done.

In other business, the board:

· Selected Earnest Green to serve as delegate to the Alabama Association of School Boards 2000 Convention and Delegate Assembly Dec. 7-9 in Birmingham.

· Nominated Beth Lakey for the AASB Education Media Honor Roll 2000.

· Agreed to provide a bus and driver for East Central Mental Health to transport clients to the Montgomery Fair on Oct. 11. Although ECMH requested it be free of charge, the board voted that they must pay for the operation of the bus.

· Terminated probationary employee Annie Lois Austin, a cafeteria worker, because the decrease in enrollment was forcing a reduction in meal production.

· Approved coaching positions and supplements for the 2000-2001 school year.

· Approved James Shipman to transport band students daily from Pike County Elementary School to Pike County High School and to transport PCHS parenting class students from PCHS to PCES on Tuesdays.

· Approved Carolyn Coleman to transport seventh grade students from PCES to Troy Pike Center for Technology daily for fourth block classes.

· Approved the employment of Nancy Richburg as secretary/bookkeeper for the School-to-Career program at Troy Pike Center for Technology.

· Approved a request by Sheila Ballard for maternity leave from her position as math teacher at Goshen High School for an approximate period beginning October and ending Nov. 27. Rebecca Connell will be the substitute for that time.

· Set the board’s next meeting for 4 p.m., Oct. 23.