Is it fair?
The state is cutting the legislated bonuses awarded to teachers who earn a national board certified teacher endorsement.
In 1999 at the urging of Gov. Roy Barnes, the Georgia Legislature passed a law giving a 10 percent raise to teachers who earn national certification. The national board certification program is run by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and offers a certification that one local teacher once called “the Oscars of teaching.”
From the start, critics said the raises were too generous. The pay boost inspired many teachers to seek the coveted designation. Now, more than 2,500 Georgia teachers get a 10 percent salary bonus from the state because they became board certified.
This costs about $12 million a year but the state is now slashing the bonuses, which will lead to pay drops of at least $3,000 to $4,000 this year for the teachers. The decision has angered the teachers who feel misled.
Among the comments from affected teachers was this one:
“Count me in as one of the many who are deeply disappointed by the outcome of this legislative session. Those of us who are National Board Certified Teachers got the shaft. Because the Senate Republicans refused to fully fund us– despite the House’s recommendation to do so– each of the state’s approximately 2500 NBCT’s will see a reduction in pay of at least $300 per paycheck beginning with the new school year .
Now, it’s common knowledge that educators don’t make that much in the first place; for many of us, $300 is the car payment, groceries, or day care bill for the month. Losing this pay will be a true hardship. How can it possibly be fair to balance the education budget on the backs of two percent of the state’s teachers?
Here’s an idea: Instead of taking $300 a month from 2500 of us, subtract a measly $10 per month from the paycheck of each of Georgia’s 116,811 K-12 teachers. (I may be wrong, but I don’t think such a move would spark any big protests.) This simple action would generate a tidy $14,016,000. Problem solved.”
I don’t know. Would other teachers accept the $10 cut, as small as it might be? What do you think?