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Fargo School Board votes to keep salary at $1,000 per month

FARGO — The Fargo School Board has decided not to raise the salaries of its members this year, voting 8-1 to maintain their pay at $1,000 per month.

There was no debate on a motion made Tuesday, Jan. 10, to keep salaries at the same level that they've been since 2009. Board member Jim Johnson cast the lone dissenting vote.

Board members have received $1,000 per month in pay since 2009, President Linda Boyd said. Between 2004 and 2009, the pay was $750 per month.

In January 2016, then-board member John Strand proposed that future salary increases be linked to a percentage equivalent to the across-the-board annual percentage pay increase provided to all staff. The proposal was made to depoliticize the annual debate over board pay, Strand said. The decision to have that automatic pay escalator take effect, starting July 1, 2016, passed on a 5-3 vote.

However, a few months later on April 12, 2016, Johnson made a motion to rescind the January 2016 decision. It passed on a 5-3 vote.

At the same meeting, the board approved a contract with Superintendent Jeff Schatz that — at his discretion — included no salary increase for the next two years.

"I think symbols are important," Boyd said last year. "I think the board as a body has to be in the same place as we're asking our staff to be in" as far as balancing the budget when the district's general fund mill levy dollars are frozen by law. "It just seemed tone-deaf to me to be putting some sort of automatic escalator in our own pay."