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Delegate looks to remove state caps on some school board salaries

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The salary for school board members in Alleghany County is capped at $1,500. School Board members in Danville are legally prohibited from being paid more than $600 a year. The cap in Emporia is $250.

Republican Delegate Buddy Fowler of Hanover County says these salary caps for appointed school board members need to be removed from the code. "I trust the local governments to be able to handle this, and I think it's best whether you're an appointed school board or an elected school board everybody to just be treated the same way."

Most school board members in Virginia are elected, and the salary for those local officials has no cap in Virginia code. But the code specifically mentions 12 counties and 15 cities and towns, setting different rates for each.

Lutheria Smith is chairwoman of the Roanoke City School Board, which has a salary cap of $4,200. "It's not something that our board is focused on, and I don't think anyone in our area seeks appointment based on that. So it hasn't been a priority for us."

Fowler had some success with a similar bill a few years ago, but it didn't make it to the governor's desk. Now, he says, he's hoping to ditch these salary caps for appointed school board members once and for all.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.