DANVILLE, Va. -

As students and teachers wind down from a busy school year and take a break from classwork to run in the sun, the Danville school board is focused on business.

Members plan to discuss raising their salaries from $600 to $10,000, a $9,400 increase.

This comes the same week Danville City Council voted to double its salary and less than a year after the school board decided to close three elementary schools.

"Do you believe this is sending the wrong message to the community?" I asked.

"We certainly wouldn't want folks to believe that this is in any way tied to the fiscal difficulties we've struggled with over the past few years. There are folks who are going to make a connection there that does not really exist and that's one concern we have going into our public hearing," said Dr. Ed Polhamus.

Their current salary has been in place since 1950. Tonight board chairman Dr. Ed Polhamus is making a case in favor of the increase saying it's long overdue and could serve as encouragement for more people to run for office.

"Dedicated individuals who might make contributions to the board in wonderful ways may not really have the option of considering running for school board or city council simply because they can't be away from their wage earning day job," Polhamus said.

Virginia law doesn't allow their salary to be more than the city council's. The decision has to be made the year prior to an election.

Parent Alfonzo Tate isn't impressed. He just moved a child to another school after the board closed Woodrow Wilson Elementary School.

"That is really ridiculous because we fought last year trying to keep the schools open and even with the schools, they had put all that money in this school and just letting it sit down and we had to bus our students and our children to far away and put them in trailers. Now they want to come and make themselves get a raise?" Tate said.

The board plans to vote on a final decision Friday morning at eight.