I had several e-mails today from Cobb teachers with development in the system’s ongoing budget woes. Teachers believe they are shouldering a disproportionate share of the budget burden. I also want to note that I am hearing from Paulding County teachers who say that between salary cuts and furloughs they are seeing a 20 percent decrease in their pay. One teacher said it came out to $10 an hour after all the cuts were considered. That county also let go of new teachers under the three-year mark.
The response from some posters here is that teachers should be glad they still have jobs and health benefits so so many Georgians do not. And I agree that teachers as a whole are in much better shape than folks in construction or real estate-related fields, many of whom are out of work and are unlikely to find anything soon.
But is there a point when the cuts and the working conditions — larger classrooms, less time to plan, furlough days — undermine the ability to teach effectively? And shouldn’t that worry all of us?
UPDATE: I just received this e-mail from Cobb County Schools that any mention of a $10,000 cut in pay — which teachers have been saying in e-mails — is incorrect. Here is the e-mail from Cobb spokesman Jay Dillon.
Unfortunately, this blog is based on teachers who misunderstood the memo that went out yesterday. Teachers are paid based on the state salary schedule. In addition to what the state pays, we also pay them additional salary out of locally collected funds. That’s called the local salary supplement. If a school district reduces the local salary supplement for teachers, it is required by law to hold public hearings and notify the teachers. Since we are implementing five furlough days next year for all employees, technically that constitutes a reduction in teacher salaries (including the local supplement) so to follow the law we have to hold the hearings and provide notice, which is what we did yesterday. It appears that some teachers have taken that information and jumped to the conclusion that we are planning an additional $10,000 pay cut. We are not. The only pay cut is the five furlough days, which they’ve known about for some time, and it affects all employees. I wish you had checked with me before posting this as it is causing much confusion.
Your current blog post contains an email from someone purporting to be a Cobb teacher that states:
“Cobb’s newest proposal is to cut teacher salaries by as much as $10,000.”
This statement is untrue. Worse, it is not sourced in any way, has no supporting information, and is presented as fact. Please remove this statement from your web site immediately as it is causing a great deal of misunderstanding among Cobb’s 8,500 teachers.
Here are the e-mails that are troubling Cobb schools.
This morning, all CCSD employees were greeted by a memo in their mailboxes stating that there will be two public hearings on proposed salary adjustments for the 2010-11 school year. This will result in a decrease in the local salary supplement. Rumor has it we are looking at a $10,000 decrease per employee. The hearings are May 27 and June 2, 6:30 – 7 p.m. in CCSD board room on Glover Street. We need to get as many teachers and parents as possible to attend in unison against these drastic cuts. Could you please add a post about this today?
Writing on the same issue, another Cobb teacher wrote:
I am a Cobb teacher and have been proud to work for this county, but now, I am ashamed and heartbroken by their continued disrespect of their teachers. While I understand times are tough, why is it that the teachers are being asked to bear the brunt of the pain? Cobb’s newest proposal is to cut teacher salaries by as much as $10,000. As a Cobb teacher with a mortgage and a car payment, losing this much would end up costing me my home and my car. At that point, I would be paying Cobb County for the “honor” of working for them. This type of move would bankrupt me. Even losing $2,000 – $3,000 would end up meaning that I’d have to add at least a second job to my already first and second jobs. How is this going to create a highly effective teacher for our students?
In the end, it seems that the only people losing is the students and the teachers but not the board or the other office personnel. Did you know that Fred Sanderson’s four administrative assistants actually make more than I do and I’ve got many years of teaching experience and a master’s degree. I feel like, at this point, I may have no other option except to leave teaching for a position that will actually pay me enough to live. I would hate to do that as I love teaching and being with my students each and every day, but I’m not sure there is any other choice.
A Paulding County teacher said:
I can’t afford to teach any longer. They have priced me out of the profession.