Originally created 05/31/97

Richmond basketball coaches get contract parity



Richmond County school basketball coaches will work on 11-month contracts next year, making them equal to football coaches, school trustees decided.

The board of education approved the longer contract Thursday during a budget hearing after also agreeing to increase by 10 percent the supplements paid to other coaches.

"Our supplements are low," said trustee Jeff Annis said. "This is about the only way we can actually spend more money and actually earn more money" because of the funds football and basketball games bring in.

Richmond County pays its coaches smaller salary supplements than other area school systems, offering head football coaches $6,000 extra a year versus $18,230 extra in Burke County. Basketball coaches receive $3,000 extra a year under their previous 10-month contract. The supplements are in addition to coaches' regular salaries as teachers.

"I just felt like we need to treat basketball coaches fairly, too," Superintendent Charles Larke said Friday. "That's girls' and boys' (coaches)."

Trustees next meet Monday for a second vote on their $165.8 million budget for fiscal year 1998. The board approved the budget 9-0 Thursday night, making no cuts and adding $10,000 for band instrument repair and maintenance.

The board also extended Dr. Larke's contract for one additional year on Thursday, voting 8-1 to have him stay as the school system chief under 2000. Trustee Barbara Padgett voted no, but the margin of approval was wider than the 6-4 vote that made Dr. Larke superintendent in March 1996. Trustee Andrew Jefferson was absent on Thursday.

Dr. Larke will earn a $126,172 salary under the 1998 budget.