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Georgia School Board OKs waiver for Dougherty School Superintendent Butch Mosely

Butch Mosely

Butch Mosely

ATLANTA — For the second time in less than a year, the Georgia Board of Education approved a consent agenda which included a waiver request from the Dougherty County School Board in regard to the employment status of Superintendent Butch Mosely.

The waiver is first step in allowing Mosely to be considered a part-time employee while working full time. If the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) of Georgia agrees to a new Dougherty County School System proposal, the district will pay Mosely $135,000 a year instead of $225,000.

The original plan hit a snag last year when the TRS rejected two separate proposals to work Mosely’s contract around the state’s 49-percenter rule.

Last year, the Georgia Legislature passed HB 208, which set strict return-to-work provisions and limited the number of hours a member of the Teacher Retirement System can work. The law, which applied retroactively, states that retirees cannot draw full pay longer than nine months per year. Mosely was retired from the state when he began work as the DCSS’s interim superintendent in January 2013.

According to the TRS website, members who have negotiated a return-to-work employment contract have been notified that “retirees who are currently under an employment which extends beyond June 30, 2013, will be required to terminate or suspend their TRS retirement benefit.”

“I am happy that the Georgia Board of Education approved our waiver request,” Mosely said Thursday from Atlanta. “It accomplishes two things — it will save the system money and will help us with our budget.”

So, after the TRS rejected two separate proposals last year, what makes this proposal different?

The tentative proposal will work off a base salary of $225,000 approved last month by the Dougherty School Board. Mosely will be paid just over $9,000 per month for a nine months (at 49 percent salary, $81,000) and $18,000 per month for three months ($54,000, full salary) for an effective annual base salary of $135,000. He will also be able to continue to draw his yearly $154,000 pension from the TRS.

DCSS Director of Finance and Operations Ken Dyer said he has been in contact with the TRS and that the proposal fits within all TRS parameters.

“I think they (the TRS) will go for it this time,” he said.

With public hearings ongoing in regard to an $8 million FY 2015 budget shortfall, Mosely said he hopes that the salary compromise will quell the controversy that arose over his new contract.

“Yes, I am going to take a hit financially, but I think it’s important that I am also willing to take a cut just like some of our programs and people. I want to finish the job we’ve started,” Mosely said.