News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2007

Morgan balks at boosting supplements for coaches

By Bayne Hughes 340-2432

Priceville High Principal Guy Bowling asked the Morgan County school board Thursday to increase coaching supplements for spring sports and assistant head basketball coaches, but the request got a lukewarm response.

Even though they discussed raising coaching supplements in recent years, school board members said they didn't feel they should when the school system is facing financial problems.

School officials project ending the 2007 fiscal year with $1.1 million in reserves when the state wants the system to have $4.5 million, equal to one month's operating expenses. Bowling asked to spend an additional $79,150 annually on the increases. He proposed increasing volleyball, baseball and softball coaches from $2,329 to $4,658, while head girls and boys soccer coaches would increase from $1,430 to $2,860. His proposal also includes assistants in these sports and basketball.

"I don't feel spring coaches are making enough for the time and effort that they put into their sports," Bowling said. "We've got great coaches, and I would hate to lose them to another system."

School board member Carolyn Wallace said she didn't feel comfortable approving any raises after nonrenewing 45 nontenured teachers' contracts in May.

"We're in an extreme money crunch, and we're lucky we have a program," Wallace said. "If I was a teacher that was fired, that proposal would make me mad."

Superintendent Bob Balch said he would like to give them a raise, "but right now we're in a money crunch and this is the best we can do."

After the meeting, Bowling said he understands the board and superintendent's position. He said he just wanted to get the proposal out there and let them know about the need.

"I'm trying to stick up for our coaches," Bowling said. "This will give the board something to think about and, maybe with some time and distance, our financial situation will improve."

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