State superintendent could see 26 percent pay raise - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

State superintendent could see 26 percent pay raise

Dr. Tommy Bice (Source: WSFA 12 News) Dr. Tommy Bice (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Alabama State Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice is entertaining a new contract with a possible 26 percent pay raise. The measure was passed by the state board in a 5 to 2 vote Wednesday.

Bice says he petitioned the board for an extension, to give him additional protection. He mentioned the daunting efforts to improve the state's graduation rate, make major changes to standards and take over school systems which continue to fall under political attack.

"I didn't ask for a certain dollar figure, I asked for an extension to my contract," Bice said. "That came up later. They saw the state superintendent was currently making less than local superintendents, not that they don't deserve every penny, but that brought the conversation to the table," he explained.

State Board member Stephanie Bell said the raise is extremely high when considering scores, the state of the economy and the lack of state raises. She added that the pay increase with benefits would pass $300,000, plus a two year extension.

Bice has not seen the proposed contract. His current contract extends through 2015.

Requests for a copy of the superintendent's current contract and proposed contract have not yet been provided to WSFA 12 News.

When asked to comment on the proposed pay increase, Governor Robert Bentley's office said it was in favor of boosting the education leader's pay.

"Governor Bentley supported the idea of the Board forming a subcommittee to study the compensation of the State Superintendent," said Bentley's communications director, Jennifer Ardis. "The recommendation was to increase the Superintendent's salary to that of the same level of the Post secondary Chancellor. The Governor supports the subcommittee's recommendation."

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