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County ups pay for coaches

By By MICHELE GERLACH Publisher
Twice-stung this spring by would-be head coaches who accepted jobs in Escambia County and left very quickly for more money, the Escambia County Board of Education Thursday agreed to increase what they pay coaches.
Earlier this year, the board hired a new coach at Escambia County High School in Atmore who remained on the job only weeks. Later, a coach who accepted the head coaching position at W.S. Neal changed his mind within days.
W.S. Neal Principal Phillip Ellis told the board the issue was serious.
Currently, head football coaches are paid on a 10-month contract and assistant coaches receive a nine-and-a-half month contract. The board voted to increase that, putting head football coaches on 12-month contracts and assistants on 10-month contracts.
Powell estimated the move will cost the board $30,000 per year.
Powell said the county also must take a look at coaching supplements in the future.
The board unanimously approved the change, but board member Danny Benjamin expressed concern for others.
Powell added that, beginning next year, the county will pay a $5,000 bonus to all science and math teachers who will come to the county and make a three-year commitment to the system. They also will provide a $5,000 bonus for science and math teachers currently teaching in the county who will agree to transfer to Escambia County Middle School, where administrators and teachers are working to improve test scores. The bonuses are part of the No Child Left Behind program, Powell said.