The board then voted, in a split decision, to cut the supplements for next year.
The official announcement of the settlement came Wednesday afternoon in a faxed statement from the Atlanta-based Kramer and Thomas law firm.
The lawsuit, filed last month in Polk County Superior Court by the Georgia Association of Educators, alleged that Georgia laws were broken because the school system withheld the supplements without holding a public hearing first.
Regina Roberts made the motion during Tuesday’s school board meeting to restore the supplements, expected to cost the system about $400,000.
Board members said a tax hike would be necessary because of the settlement, but did not set a figure during Tuesday’s meeting.
Just as Polk County teachers received good news, they were told they would have to face a stiff cut in their local salary supplements next year.
Board members voted 5-4 to reduce next year’s local salary
supplements to 4 percent from 6 percent and freeze that amount until the district’s financial situation improves.
Not all agreed to the cuts.
“I’m going to vote against this because I don’t feel we’ve examined all programs that could be cut instead,” board member Frank Plant said.
Board member Harold Lumpkin said he didn’t blame the teachers for being mad at the board.
“I don’t think that this is the right thing to do. We’re putting a little air into the balloon, but then we’re turning around and letting some out. This is a fancy way of doing the same thing we did last year.”
Guy Rutland was also upset about next year’s supplement cuts.
“There are things I know we could cut that wouldn’t hurt Polk County students. We’ve cut music teachers but haven’t said turkey squat about athletic supplements. The reason we are here is because we have a champagne taste on a beer pocketbook. We have spent ourselves into the hole that we are in,” he said.
Tommy Sanders sided with Lumpkin, Plant and Rutland.
Roberts, Harold Wingfield, Bettie Faye Lewis, Beth Warner and Board Chairman Rick Lundy voted for next year’s cut.
The board also passed a 10 percent reduction in athletics and academic supplements and a reduction in principal and central office staff