SCS to raise minimum wage to $15

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — More than one thousand people in Memphis are getting a pay raise. That’s because Shelby County Schools is raising their minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour.

FOX13’s Zach Crenshaw spoke with district leaders about the decision the said will help honor Dr. King's legacy.

Tuesday was like any other SCS board meeting, except palpably happier.

Everyone was excited about the announcement to increase the district’s minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour.

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"It's just the right thing to do. We have employees who have to choose between working to serve our kids and working in fast food restaurants," said Superintendent Hopson.

More than one thousand employees will get raises, the majority of them are teachers assistants and cafeteria workers.

For most, it will be less than 2 dollar increase, but Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said it’s the principle of the matter.

"If you go to work every day, you shouldn't be poor," said Hopson.
The cost to the district is not enormous either, roughly two million dollars a year, a drop in the bucket for the 1-plus billion dollar budget.

"Given the fact that we are the second largest employer here in the city and given the fact that we are in a much more stable fiscal situation, in the long run it's the best thing to do for a community and our school district," said Hopson.

Hopson told us he hopes others will follow suit ahead of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s death in Memphis, a man who was here fighting for sanitation workers rights and pay and is having an impact on Memphians decades later.

"What a wonderful way to honor Dr. King's legacy. Particularly since we could do it in a responsible way," said Hopson.

Superintendent Hopson told FOX13 the pay increase will likely take a few months to implement.

Click here for SCS' report on economic equality.