School Board rescinds member raises, citing deficit

Published 5:11 pm Friday, September 15, 2023

Isle of Wight County School Board members have rescinded their June decision to give themselves raises, citing the school division’s still-unresolved deficit from the prior school year.

The board had voted 3-2 on June 8 to increase board member stipends 5% starting Jan. 1. It would have increased board members’ annual salaries to $6,300 and the chairman’s salary to $7,350.

On Aug. 10, Superintendent Theo Cramer informed the board that Isle of Wight County Schools had ended the 2022-23 school year with a deficit totaling more than $600,000. Chief Financial Officer Larisa Harris told the School Board the division remained $438,506 in the red as of Sept. 14.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“In light of recent budget shortfalls I cannot in good faith or conscience support a stipend increase for the Isle of Wight County School Board,” said board member Mark Wooster.

Wooster’s Sept. 14 motion to rescind the June 8 vote passed 3-1 with votes by himself, Vice Chairman Jason Maresh and Chairman John Collick.

Collick had previously joined with board members Denise Tynes and Michael Cunningham in June to support the raises. Cunningham cast the sole “nay” vote on Wooster’s motion to rescind the raises. Tynes was absent.

Per state law, raises for elected board members must be voted upon before the July 1 start of a new fiscal year and can only take effect the year following an election where two or more seats are on the ballot.