SMOB Nate Tinbite discusses salary raise for Board members

By Heather Wang

Student Member of the Board Nate Tinbite discussed a salary raise for Board members, including for the SMOB, in a meeting with the Board of Education Compensation Commission Nov. 18, 2019. The Maryland General Assembly established the Commission in 2018, with the purpose of discussing pay increases for Board members. Montgomery County Board members currently earn an annual salary of $25,000, the president earns $29,000 and the SMOB receives a scholarship of $5,000 to whichever college they attend.

At the November meeting, Tinbite suggested an annual pay of $50,000 for both the SMOB and the Board members.

“The compensation would increase the field of individuals planning to run for the school Board,” Tinbite said. “Instead of having to choose between a job or a very low paying board position, they can choose to run, serve on the board and be financially independent.”

Board members in surrounding counties, including Prince George’s and Fairfax, earn $15,000 to $32,000 annually, while student representatives don’t earn a salary.

Taking Tinbite’s suggestion into account, the Commission proposed to the Montgomery County delegation a $60,000 salary for board members and either 80% of a board member’s salary or $40,000 in scholarship money for the SMOB.

Tinbite said that the SMOB and Board members should receive equal pay because of the hours of work they put in and because of the full voting responsibilities for the job.

SGA adviser Katherine Young said that $50,000 is close to the starting salary of a full-time teacher and that a student under eighteen without a degree shouldn’t receive that much.

“It’s a tremendous job that they do but they are afforded incredible opportunities that go beyond $50,000,” Young said. “It pays off lifelong because the SMOB is getting invaluable experience right now that is going to help them in college and career later down the road.”

SGA member Nada Fadul said the financial compensation can change the meaning of a job that should be done in good faith.

“As part of the group that leads students, you fight for what they want and better their lives, but that shouldn’t need money as an incentive,” Fadul said. “Frankly, we should keep money out of it.”


A previous version of this article stated that Tinbite proposed the salary raises; he actually suggested the salary after the Maryland Compensation Commission asked him.