State can’t afford early holiday pay for teachers this year

I was unaware that teachers received their paychecks early over the holidays, a small perk that was apparently valued enough for the teachers’ group PAGE to send out an action alert.

A teacher sent me a note explaining why this matters to her and other teachers, “Apparently, this means that many of us will not be receiving our paycheck before the Winter Break as we always have. Though we will get paid at the end of December, I know that many teachers (myself included) rely on this early payday to help us make Christmas happen for our families, travel home, etc. From what I understand, they made this decision in September and are just now getting the word out…leaving many of us in quite a bind. Can you please investigate this and let us know what you find out?”

She included this e-mail that PAGE is sending out to its members:

PAGE has learned from Scott Austensen, the Department of Education’s Deputy Superintendent for Finance and Business Operations, that the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget will not be sending QBE monies to the school districts for November and December until the last day of the month, as they do in all other months.

According to Amy Jacobs, an official with OPB, the total amount of funds is $500 million and the QBE allotment will be released at the end of November and December due to cash flow concerns. She also indicated that local school superintendents were notified of this change in September.

Prior to this the state had, as a courtesy, sent the funds earlier in those two months so that districts could issue paychecks to staff before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

PAGE has contacted interim state school superintendent Brad Bryant to request that the courtesy be extended again this year, particularly given the morale situation caused by budget cuts, furloughs, etc. PAGE believes this move will work a hardship on all staff, particularly school support employees such as custodians, food service staff and others.

We encourage concerned educators to contact Gov. Perdue to request assistance in getting officials to revisit their unfortunate decision.

132 comments Add your comment

Patrick Crabtree

November 14th, 2010
10:05 am

I’d like to know how this will affect APS, since we get paid on the 5th and 20th. THey do shady things with our monies, they call perks. After we questioned them on furloughin on a holiday.

Proud Black Man

November 14th, 2010
10:08 am

Since I manage my funds quite well this is a non-issue for me.

Williev2000

November 14th, 2010
10:09 am

In the school system I work, we were told in September that we would be paid at the end of November and December.

Ole Guy

November 14th, 2010
10:28 am

In the leadership spirit of shared adversity, would one be so bold as to presume that any financial difficulties with which teachers and staff must contend will extend to edministrative/executive level personnel?

I believe, Maureen, this is an expectation of leadership which must be made absolutely clear. Perhaps the AJC can help in clarifying this expectation. Of course, if Georgia teachers had a collective voice, by way of a collective bargaining unit, they wouldn’t have to rely on the public, and upon the media, to send messages to their keepers.

PLC

November 14th, 2010
10:30 am

Gwinnett’s already sent out an email saying the county planned ahead and is still issuing the checks at the same time as usual.

I do agree with PBM…if you budget appropriately, it shouldn’t be a big deal, even with the holidays. For us, it just means a little bit more interest for the month!

Teacher

November 14th, 2010
10:34 am

Those who receive December paychecks early will have a very long wait until the end of January pay checks. However, this recent move is just another slap in the face to Georgia’s educators!

Proud Black Man

November 14th, 2010
10:37 am

” However, this recent move is just another slap in the face to Georgia’s educators!”

Times are rough sugar britches. Learn to handle your money better.

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ScienceTeacher671

November 14th, 2010
10:43 am

Our county told us this in September, also. PAGE and AJC are a bit slow, eh?

And if you’re relying on getting the December paycheck early to “make Christmas happen”, what, pray tell, are you going to do when it’s time to pay the bills in January?

d

November 14th, 2010
10:44 am

Personally, receiving my check early in December was never a convenience or anything special for me. I ignored the money until Jan 1 since I pay my bills on the first of the month (and due to DCSS’s multiple years of reverse steps, that’s about all my paycheck covers anymore) That not the important thing though, so I don’t want to hear that I’m complaining…… Frankly, I think Teacher says it best, regardless of how people use the money they are paid two weeks early, making this arbitrary decision is just a slap in the face to educators from someone who openly disrespects the public education system. I’m sure Sonny was agreeing with Mark Sanford when Sanford publicly supported dismantling the public education system in South Carolina.

GoldenEye

November 14th, 2010
10:55 am

I’ve always hated getting paid early, but I’m GCPS, so I guess I’ll be putting my Jan. check in my savings account for two weeks … whatever. An early paycheck & then 6 weeks of no pay has never been a perk. How about give me back two of my planning days, so I’m not working so much for free making up for the missed time – that would be a wonderful “perk.” I’d even LOVE to actually get a step increase that I haven’t gotten in the past 3 years either. Just that extra 50-100 dollars a month after taxes would really be nice. That would be the best PERK of all.

what if

November 14th, 2010
10:55 am

PBM, glad you’re SO much better than everyone else. Spiteful LITTLE man. SOME people don’t make as much as you, and MAY, heaven forbid, actually CARE about someone else – like their kids, perhaps. you’ve never been there, obviously.

GoldenEye

November 14th, 2010
11:00 am

Just another thought … I wonder why only PAGE seems to care about this issue and not GAE? … Or non-issue.

Proud Black Man

November 14th, 2010
11:02 am

@ what if

I drive, paid for, a beater, wear last years fashions, and am VERY careful not to live above my means. I also DON’T spoil OR provide cell phones for my three kids. Your clairvoyance skills leave a lot to be desires…stain.

Proud Black Man

November 14th, 2010
11:02 am

Argosy 08′

Teacher

November 14th, 2010
11:10 am

What the heck is Argosy?!!!

Proud Black Man

November 14th, 2010
11:11 am

A fully accredited institution of higher learning:

http://www.argosy.edu/

NW Georgia teacher

November 14th, 2010
11:33 am

Not an issue. I’m always surprised to be paid early. My budget doesn’t change.

schlmarm

November 14th, 2010
11:35 am

Well, let’s see, 5 days cut off the school calendar,which translates into 5 furlough days, loss of National Board supplement, payday Dec. 31, whatever, it just keeps on. Education is not, and will never be a priority in this state. For some reason, teachers’ salaries seem to be a bone of resentment and disregard for so many. And yes, as a previous poster said, without a REAL teacher’s union and collective bargaining, our contracts (LOL) are about as worth as much as a sheet of toilet paper.

PLC

November 14th, 2010
11:35 am

I do agree that it’s a slap in the face because of the timing and the fact that it once again shows we’re last on the list.

Budgeting is important, and helps us not need to worry when the check comes (as long as it comes!), but again we’re the easy out for whatever budget problems the state has because they clearly don’t practice any restraint like so many of us have to do!

Maybe we could get Dave Ramsey to come do a public service course for our state govt officials…

Susie

November 14th, 2010
11:59 am

Argosy?? Oh, yeah…..one of the on-line, for profit, diploma/degree mills, right?

teacher&mom

November 14th, 2010
12:09 pm

We were told in September. I’ve learned to “pretend” my Nov. and Dec. checks were not in the bank until the end of the month. This won’t be an issue for me.

When we received word that the checks would not go out until the end of the month, my first thought was…”How close is the state to not making payroll each month?”

Connie Jackson

November 14th, 2010
12:24 pm

Maureen, We got out ahead of this by contacting Cobb and it will NOT affect Cobb County employees, read their reply on my blog http://www.ccaepresident.blogspot.com.

Proud Black Man

November 14th, 2010
12:31 pm

@ Susie

“Argosy?? Oh, yeah…..one of the on-line, for profit, diploma/degree mills, right?’

Yep, T-7 with 11 years. Quit “hatin.”

http://tinyurl.com/23w3ah5

Argosy 08′

Corde

November 14th, 2010
12:37 pm

I agree this may work out for the best but I think it is worthy news for people who do rely on the money to travel, etc. early. For many teachers, (except Proud Black Man) the little paychecks received are gone except maybe their savings (if possible, people have different financial situations not relating to living beyond their means), and the money is used to (as someones stated early) to make the holidays happen in whatever way possible. It would be nice to have a bit of notice.

Angela

November 14th, 2010
12:47 pm

Well, this is news to the DCSS staff. But, I would much rather be paid at the end of the month as I always do every other month of the year. I don’t see this as a slap in the face however, in the DCSS system I think that we have more to worry about. My principal told us last week that he was sent an e-mail just as I am sure that many other, if not all principals were sent an e-mail asking them to send a list of teachers that they did not plan on renewing their contracts. Now, that is a very huge slap in the face. It seems to me that we might better be worried more about long term pay checks than two months.

Schools that did not make AYP are especially a focus in that e-mail. Keep in mind teachers and only teachers are blamed for student failures (student behavior, positive parental involvement, lack of administration support, student personal issues, etc.) are not and never will be taken into account. This is not even being taken into account in the White House. The teacher in Clayton County who has lost her job because of a confronation with a students is a perfect example of how we as teacher are always wrong and the students are always right. I think that November & December early pay is the absolute least of our worries.

As you know that if your principal does not like you this may just be a good way for he/she to get rid of you without doing a PDP. Remember, we are not unionized therefore, anything goes in the state of Georgia as it relates to employer-employee.

I that the PBM is still at it.

Proud Black Man

November 14th, 2010
12:57 pm

@ Corde

” For many teachers, (except Proud Black Man) the little paychecks received are gone…”

Simple, learn to live within one means. Did I mention that I have three children?

@ Angela

” I that the PBM is still at it.”

Please REREAD YOUR post and then ask yourself; don’t you have MORE IMPORTANT things to worry about?

ScienceTeacher671

November 14th, 2010
12:59 pm

Corde, if you can’t “make the holidays happen” without getting paid early, how do you pay your January bills, since presumably the money has been spent by the time they come due?

Proud Black Man

November 14th, 2010
1:13 pm

double

November 14th, 2010
1:29 pm

And Roy Barns wanted to make you accountable.

Corde

November 14th, 2010
1:39 pm

I personally do fine b/c I have no travel fees; have an EDS; 12 years behind me and only one child so I am okay, just okay. On the other hand, many new teachers and ones w/o higher degrees struggle depending on their situation (this was my point if you read my earlier post clearly). I also agree w/Angela bc this is minor considering there are bigger fish to fry, and yes, pay at the end of the month is ultimately better (also stated earlier). The problem w/this policy is many teachers are not aware and have not been made aware by their counties so depending on their situations, this may present an issue. Also, I think you guys need to realize there are many teachers who struggle due to student loans; taking care of elderly parents; illnesses; etc. You may be fine, and I may be fine but many suffer and at some point we must stand up for each other, although we may feel comfortable in our situations bc the next policy made w/o public acknowledgement may affect you. Also, please read the post clearly so we can actually have discussions and they are not so redundant… I beginning to feel as if I am in my collab class…

Mike Honcho

November 14th, 2010
1:43 pm

I think it is just the total lack of respect for those affected. It would be nice to know.

Angela

November 14th, 2010
1:54 pm

@PBM,

Thank you for your correction. You still have a whole lot to say don’t ya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (that is you)

Karma

November 14th, 2010
2:02 pm

As someone mentioned earlier, does anyone know if this affects APS? My guess is no because we don’t get paid once a month at the end of the month. I think APS needs to be doing some serious sucking up with their employees, I know I don’t plan on staying there.

Angela

November 14th, 2010
2:04 pm

@Corde,

Also, please read the post clearly so we can actually have discussions and they are not so redundant… I beginning to feel as if I am in my collab class…

*******************************************************************************************************************

You are correct, that is one of many reasons why I don’t blog as much as I use to. I found that this blog was controlling my life and not me controlling my life. People like PBM and many others have so much to say and nothing at all. Many people are rude and down right nasty and lack respect for others. I now only blog when there is something that truly interest me. Otherwise, I just read a few blogs maybe once or twice a month and I see that not much has changed.

Proud Black Man

November 14th, 2010
2:44 pm

@ Corde

Nice spin

@ Angela

This was my ORIGINAL reply to you:

“Please REREAD YOUR post and then ask yourself; don’t you have MORE IMPORTANT things to worry about?”

How was that being

“People like PBM and many others have so much to say and nothing at all. Many people are rude and down right nasty and lack respect for others?”

because I suggested you reread YOUR post? Ok now heres the rude response; are you stupid or just slow?

“I found that this blog was controlling my life and not me controlling my life.”

SAY WHAT?!? Now I understand why so many teachers, female, can’t quite cut the mustard.

“…one of many reasons why I don’t blog as much as I use to…”

Buh bye.

Searching for Sanity...

November 14th, 2010
2:48 pm

Mike, you appear to be the only reasonable person online today. I think you hit the nail on the head.

PBM – what exactly do you do besides troll on blogs and upset people? Is there a class for that at Argosy? If so, I’m sure you got an A.

teachermom

November 14th, 2010
2:52 pm

I have no problem with this. Most of my friends hate the early payday, since it does require more thought about budgeting. I have always just pretended it wasn’t in the account until December 31 anyway. No big deal.

Proud Black Man

November 14th, 2010
2:57 pm

@ Searching for sanity…

Sometimes the truth hurts doesn’t it? Here we have “teachers” complaining about not getting paid early, and SOME here are sympathizing with them. Mrs. PBM has NEVER been paid early nor does she expect to be because she works in the private sector. And to answer your other question, no there wasn’t a “trolling” class at Argosy. But REST ASSURED that my matriculation there, while costly, was a piece of cake. Does that make you feel better?

Argosy 08′

Searching for Sanity...

November 14th, 2010
3:12 pm

I can finally sleep at night.

ScienceTeacher671

November 14th, 2010
3:18 pm

I understand that many at the lower end of the payscale struggle, I just don’t understand how they make it through January if they spend all of their December paycheck during the holidays.

I’m also having trouble understanding why this is news to PAGE and AJC (and why GAE apparently is still in the dark). Don’t we “pay them the big bucks” to stay on top of things like this and keep us informed if our districts don’t? (And again, our district told us about this at the first of the school year)

@maureen

November 14th, 2010
3:20 pm

Maureen,
Will you be able to fill us in soon on the state’s response re: GHSGT? Thanks so much!

the prof

November 14th, 2010
3:38 pm

Argosy……………….hahahahahahahaha

zoe

November 14th, 2010
3:53 pm

Being paid at the end of November was always a given since the 30th is on a Monday. Traditionally in our county we are paid on the last working day of the month. As for the December payday, its actually not a bad thing. 6 weeks from one payday to the next is rough. We usually just paid our January bills early.

zoe

November 14th, 2010
3:53 pm

I meant November 30 was a Tuesday, we’ll be paid Monday night. In 12 years, the only time we were paid early for November was when the last day of the month fell over Thanksgiving holidays.

Connie Jackson CCAE/GAE

November 14th, 2010
3:55 pm

We were aware of this in Cobb but also knew it didn’t apply to Cobb. Our members are aware and up to date, thank you.

first grade teacher

November 14th, 2010
3:59 pm

The county in which I teach has always paid us before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and I haven’t heard anything yet about that not being the case now. It wouldn’t suprise me if it changes this year. I’ll budget more carefully and like last year, Christmas will be much ‘leaner’. Thank goodness my children are older and understand my financial situation.I’ll continue to try and make ends meet with smaller paychecks due to furloughs.

I do agree with other posters that this is a slap in the face as are the other sacrifices teachers have been expected to make recently. We continue to be asked to do more with less.I don’t blame the county administration; they did everything possible to avoid furloughs while the districts surrounding mine had to implement them. Everyone is furloughed, even central office staff. I blame the state and our Republican leaders who foisted the “austerity” cuts on school districts, and evidently had no intention of rescinding them when revenues increased. Part of the national trend to discredit and stealthily dismantle the public education system in this country.

amazed

November 14th, 2010
4:04 pm

Let us all face the reality of it, we, as teachers, have proof now that not only are we regarded as baby sitters by many, but now have had our income played with in terms of furlough days and now this. Getting the check at the end of the month is not an issue for me, what I have a concern over is how broke is the state and where is it going. How much longer until we are all told you are earning state salary and that is it. Very scary but we have people in the state dept of ed collecting over 100,000 a year and the same applies to many at the central office level in counties.

Below the City

November 14th, 2010
4:08 pm

Maureen, receiving your check before your holiday break used to be one of the little perks educators got just for being educators. It meant they were appreciated for the difficult job they do for the public day in and day out. Education is a very stressful occupation on dedicated teachers, and little things to make them feel appreciated meant a lot. Our county didn’t get early pay last year and we received word from our super that we wouldn’t this year either. Oh, I have enough money to make it, but it was never really about the money…. I just don’t feel so shiny anymore.

@Connie Jackson

November 14th, 2010
4:13 pm

Connie, Does that mean Cobb is planning to distribute paychecks before the breaks like always?