Effingham County School Superintendent Randy Shearouse has decided not to accept a stipend the board of education approved for him.
The board agreed in May to pay for Shearouse’s continued work on his doctorate, giving him $20,000 over three years to cover the costs of his courses.
“With the board renewing my contract back in December, of course at that time we didn’t know where the budget was going, and we didn’t know at that time,” he said. “I signed a three-year contract. We didn’t feel that was a time to give a raise, and we came back later and things looked pretty decent with the budget. Even though the state had made additional cuts, we felt like we could absorb those cuts.”
But the mandate that school systems across the state enact three furlough days to help alleviate the state’s budget crunch “changed everything,” Shearouse said.
“The board knows it’s tough on the district to make this many cuts,” he said.
Shearouse said he was grateful to the board for the reimbursement but he won’t take it.
“I just can’t accept it this year until we see that things are looking up and things have improved quite a bit,” he said. “I told teachers (Wednesday), ‘we’re all in this together. We have to fight through the struggle together as a team.’”
Board member Eddie Tomberlin said Shearouse should be commended for that and the long days he works in the community.