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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson had to sit and listen as his fellow board members decided if he should get a bonus for his work and how much he should get.

Board member Scott McCormick said the time was bad as the board starts talking to retirees and asking them to concede on promises made long ago.

Those losing benefits know about Hopson’s large district paid SUV and his $269,000 salary.

He also has $500,000 in district paid insurance.

That’s more than any other Mid-South Superintendent.

More than both Mayors.

More than even the Governor.

School Board member Stephanie Love said her constituents weren’t happy, so she couldn’t support giving a bonus, even though she may personally feel it’s deserved.

She represented an area where many schools were taken over the ASD, a move that angered many but also paved the way for success.

The smaller district was able to focus on the poor performing schools it still had and move them off priority lists.

New test scores showed the plan is working, and board members heralded it as a testament to Hopson’s success.

But others like Board member Mike Kernell and Miska Clay Bibbs questioned why the bonus was coming now, and not after an upcoming evaluation of the superintendent’s work.

More tenured Board members blamed themselves for not giving Hopson a raise last year, saying he did well on an evaluation back then and got no raise, just an extended contract. They considered this move retro active.

Even with all the discussion and possible cuts, the board voted 6 to 3 to give Hopson a $15,000 bonus.