Brunswick, New Hanover school board members among highest paid in state

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — When it comes to the people you elect to make decisions for your children’s education, do you know how much they are compensated for the job?

As the numbers may vary, Brunswick County School tops the list not only across the Cape Fear but across the state. Also making the top ten list, New Hanover County School Board members.

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“The monthly compensation is used for us throughout the community,” New Hanover County Board of Education member, David Wortman said. “Going to the schools. Attending board meetings. It’s basically compensation for the hours that we actually put in on the school board.”

Brunswick County School Board members make $1,310 monthly, followed by New Hanover County which makes $962 a month. Pender, Columbus and Bladen County all make less than $700.

New Hanover County Board of Education Chairman Edward Higgins says it is a fair amount for the work members put in for the community.

“Some of our board members still have jobs. And when they take time away from their income producing jobs, they need to be compensated. Otherwise you’re going to get a board that is not necessarily responsive to the needs of the people,” Higgins said.

Statewide, Brunswick County tops the list over Wake County and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area with only 12,481 students.
Wake County members make $1,236 a year and have around 153,300 students. As for Charlotte-Mecklenburg, they make $1,160 a month and have roughly 142,469 students.

When WWAY asked Brunswick County School why they make so much, a schools spokeswoman says each district has different expectations.

Meanwhile Wortman says it is not about the money.

“I certainly don’t put a time limit on what I do in the community. It’s just something that I really enjoy doing,” Wortman said.

Chairman Higgins says the board is requesting a raise in this years budget. However, board members Lisa Estep and David Wortman say they are against the request.

The New Hanover County Board of Education should know if county commissioners will approve the raise as early as July.