Former school board member speaks out after resignation

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The elected official who resigned from Charleston County School Board, speaking publicly for the first time since quitting the job. Mary Ann Taylor says there are several reasons why she no longer felt effective on the job. She says it was a hard decision to make, but she's sticking to it.

She turned in her resignation before board members were to vote on giving themselves a 2400% percent raise for serving on the board.

The fact that the nine member Charleston county school board was discussing giving themselves a raise was the final straw. "I will never ever vote myself a raise until we lower the amount of money we pay all these administrators, and we elevate what we pay those boots on the ground," Taylor said.

Taylor says those boots on the ground are the teachers. Before resigning, she was fighting to make sure the teachers were fairly compensated.

"We've got the pyramid turned upside down. We should be paying, not only hiring hard, paying these people who work with the students the bigger bucks, and then trickle it down to what an administrator makes," Taylor said.

She says it was frustrating as a school board member, to fight for changes, but never getting the needed support from other members.

"There are some on that board that they are going to give a nod off on anything the superintendent wants to recommend. I go wait a minute let's look at everything," Taylor said.

Additionally she says it was just wrong, after learning how many district administrators were making salaries in the six figures, while teachers suffered.

"How many people were making over $100,000, and yet we're talking about furloughing and cutting the pay of those who actually give those other people a reason for having a job," Taylor said.

Taylor served on school board for one year. She says she will continue to be a voice for teachers, taxpayers, and students, by voicing her concerns publicly at board meetings

The measure to give school board members a raise to $15,000 a year failed five votes to three.

School board member Chris Collins says he will continue to push for higher pay for each meeting.

Right now, Charleston School Board members get $25 a meeting and reimbursed for school board business trips.

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