Can FNSB School Board opt out of compensation pay

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - One of the many aspects of electing local officials, which residents may not know about, is the compensation pay. Members of the Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board receive a $400 stipend each month and they have the option to be a part of the district's health care plan.

Board Policy 294 states that, "Board members shall receive a monthly stipend while serving on the Board of Education. The amount of the monthly stipend will be determined during the annual budget process."

The current monthly stipend amount of $400 was set in July 1989 when it was increased from $300 dollars per month. This is funded through the general fund which is made up of federal, state and local allocations.

Board members can however opt out of enrolling in the health care plan if they chose. Dental, vision and audio is covered under the plan along with normal health benefits. Any board member not enrolled in the tiers retirement plan can enroll in the health care plan.

Chief Operations Officer for the school district, Andy DeGarw commented on the amount of work a board member does, “Board members commit a lot of time, energy and resources to serving. I consider the work that they do to be well worth any kind of monetary amounts that they receive," he said.

Historically, board members have not been allowed to opt out of the stipend, however, that option is currently being researched.