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School board members, supervisors talk salaries

Illustration by Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat.

NATCHEZ — The Natchez-Adams School District spends approximately $22 million on salaries each year, including nearly $900,000 for 10 administrators who each bring home more than $80,000 a year.

Seventy-nine teachers make more than $50,000 a year, including two teachers who make more than $70,000.

One secretary also makes approximately $57,000.

NASD School Board President Wayne Barnett said while the board is reviewing some of the salary schedules, he thinks the educators should be paid professional salaries.

“For what we have in our hands — and that’s the future of this country — we better start paying teachers (well),” Barnett said.

NASD board member Thelma Newsome said the board, forced to deal with an already tightly stretched budget, has been reviewing salary schedules to see if they need any adjusting.

“I’m not sure why some salaries are as high as they are,” Newsome said. “We’re looking for answers, too.”

Board member Tim Blalock said some of the salaries concern him as well.

“It does worry me that the assistant superintendent makes (approximately) the same that Supreme Court justices do,” Blalock said.

Blalock said he knows comparing other jobs to educators might not be fair, “but it’s a judgment call,” he said.

“We need to look and see if (the district) is actually getting the value for the money (employees) are being paid.”