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Clay County school board tackles budget issues

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Updated: 5/17/2013 7:30 am

FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. -- School leaders made some major decisions about taxpayer money Thursday.

School board members voted on three topics with thousands of dollars on the line.

 The first involved a pay supplement for the superintendent. The policy was put in place years ago to make sure the superintendent always had the highest salary in the district.

The pay suplement has grown to $28,000. Superintendent Charlie Van Zant has received $17,000 so far this year, but Thursday the board voted to stop giving the supplement when it expires in June. After that, they can vote to give the superintendent that bonus.

Taxpayers will still have to shell out $24,000 for attorneys fees to cover a lawsuit filed by the superintendent against the school board for changing a job description. However, that's less than projected had the lawsuit gone to court. Thursday the board voted to accept the agreement to not move forward with the lawsuit, saying the cost would be detrimental to the district. Van Zant has until Friday to withdraw the suit.

Lastly, the board voted not to spend $17,000 to bring in a motivational speaker to hold workshops for school staff. It was the most heated debate of the night. Board members felt even though the money is from a federal grant, it is too much to spend to bring in a speaker.

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