True or false? Georgia teachers highest paid in country

When House speaker pro tem Jan Jones of Milton commented on the blog a few weeks ago that Georgia teachers were the highest paid in the country, many of you argued that it could not be true.

In her op-ed on the blog, Jones wrote, “…when adjusted for cost of living, Georgia ranks first nationally in teacher salary and benefits.”

Well, it’s half true — according to our AJC PolitiFact Georgia team.

Here is the finding of our team, which is dedicated to applying the Truth-O-Meter to comments by politicians:  (Please, read the full piece here before commenting.)

Jones used a February 2009 study by the John Locke Foundation, a Raleigh, N.C.-based think tank that supports limited government, to help back up her claim. She also did some research on her own, looking at states that had higher average salaries and determining that there were other factors — such as differences in cost of living — to conclude that Georgia teachers lead the nation in total compensation.

“I couldn’t find any factors that led me to believe that anyone had jumped ahead of us,” she said.

The John Locke Foundation report focused on teacher compensation in the foundation’s home state, North Carolina. Although Georgia ranked 17th in average salaries, the Peach State finished first in overall annual compensation.

How did the foundation reach that conclusion? It used a formula that included the National Education Association’s average salaries ($53,270 for Georgia) in 2008, pension contribution rates and a cost-of-living formula to measure compensation. They concluded that the average Georgia teacher’s annual compensation was $72,393. The average years of experience for Georgia of 12.9 was slightly below the national average of 14.6.

Interestingly, the difference between average salary and total compensation was higher for Georgia than any other state, at $19,123. The percentage difference between average salary and total compensation for Georgia was 35.9 percent. The only other state with a higher percentage difference was Arkansas, at 36.7 percent.

Tax dollars contributed to Georgia teacher pension plans were 9.28 percent in 2009, which the Locke Foundation used to calculate Georgia’s pension contribution. The national average was 10.16 percent, Locke reported. The Georgia contribution rose to 9.74 percent in 2010, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Georgia’s cost-of-living index was 0.909, which was lower than every state except Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Georgia had the same cost-of-living index as Texas. Much of the research we found shows Georgia ranks in the lower half of the nation when it comes to cost of living. In late 2011, Georgia had the 16th lowest cost of living in the nation, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

Jeff Humphreys, director of the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth, looked at the Locke Foundation’s study and thought the general approach it used to measure cost of living was “reasonable.” Humphreys noted the study used ACCRA, a well-known index that measures cost of living in the nation’s larger cities and metropolitan areas. The foundation apparently used the cost of living of each city in a state to calculate the entire state’s cost-of-living index. The company that runs ACCRA told PolitiFact Georgia it does not measure cost of living for the entire state.

In general, though, Humphreys said salaries are based on simple supply and demand. “To get enough teachers to move into those states, they have to pay more,” Humphreys said. “It’s really market economics at its best.”

The conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation did its own research on teacher salaries in 2011, but it did not include a state-by-state comparison. A senior policy analyst there, Jason Richwine, suggested other factors such as health insurance, life/disability insurance, retiree health care, and paid leave need to be included in any such comparisons.

As we mentioned, there is little research on total teacher compensation nationally. The independent experts we spoke to looked at the Locke study and found its methodology was sound, but they found some areas to quibble about. We also wonder about the cost-of-living calculation used since ACCRA doesn’t measure it for the entire state.

The statement is based in some solid methodology, but we believe there are too many variables to consider and not enough research in order to make a true apples-to-apples comparison here. Under our rating system, that’s a Half True.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

148 comments Add your comment

Ole Guy

February 23rd, 2012
5:27 pm

Since when are the words of politicians taken seriously?

Mikey D

February 23rd, 2012
5:34 pm

“I’m comfortable with my conclusions,” the lawmaker said.

In other words, I twisted some stats to make them say what I want them to say.

I love how she totally shirks her responsibility as chair of the appropriations committee that helped to usher in the era of furloughs by simply saying that teachers in other states had similar circumstances. A real leader would have done something to make things better than they were in other states, wouldn’t they Ms. Jones?

Like I said before...

February 23rd, 2012
5:45 pm

that’s some fuzzy math.

Tony

February 23rd, 2012
5:47 pm

Several years ago Georgia made huge gains in paying teachers a more appropriate salary. Unfortunately, eight years of republican control have eroded a lot of those gains. Since these claims were based on 2008 data, it is essential to point out the huge cuts imposed on teachers’ salaries since that time. Whether you call them furlough days, salary reductions, or other fancy names, the bottom line for teachers is simple – they make much less today than they did in 2008.

TW

February 23rd, 2012
6:14 pm

What if the glich in GA’s education model is really the butchering it now gets from ilk like Judson Hill and Chip Rogers?

Being that these religious freaks are openly against public school, does that play a factor given their role in funding?

Ever heard of a successfull business being run by a CEO who wants it to fail?

Nah….it’s all the teachers fault :(

btc

February 23rd, 2012
6:19 pm

Wow! And I’ve been complaining that our county down here is on its third (3rd) year of 10 (count’em 10) furlough days a year…. and next year looks just as bad! Who’d a thunk we really shouldn’t be complaining that we weren’t getting paid what our signed contracts state?

Helena

February 23rd, 2012
6:19 pm

Tony – I teach in a suburban district, and my gross salary on my 2011 taxes was 12% lower than in 2008. And that’s just for full-time teaching (no bonuses or extra-hours pay) while I moved up two steps on the schedule.

I’m curious about the cost-of-living calculations. Those are statewide, yes? COL in metro Atlanta would be significantly higher than in, say, Valdosta, which skews the analysis. Plus, I have family in both Dallas and Houston, and the COL is definitely higher here, despite TX purportedly being the same as GA.

Whatever the numbers mean, I’ll agree that although things might’ve been good when that data was tabulated, the income/benefits situation is deteriorating FAST for teachers here, and it won’t get better anytime soon. (Yes, I know we’re lucky to have jobs in this economy, but we don’t have to be thrilled by what I’ve said above.)

Helena

February 23rd, 2012
6:23 pm

I couldn’t edit the above on my phone before posting, but I meant to add to my first paragraph that my insurance premiums and copays have literally doubled in the past three years as well.

crankee_yankee

February 23rd, 2012
6:52 pm

Insurance costs are up, co-pays are up, deductibles are up, out-of-pocket numbers are up, coverage is less for our health insurance. Still furloughed, no raises since I don’t remember, no step increase. Add (or subtract) it all together and I am down over 10% since 2008. She is a cross-eyed, needle-nosed liar comfortable in her own filthy pronouncements. I will remember.

bootney farnsworth

February 23rd, 2012
7:06 pm

a few years ago, I made enough 1 job solo for my family to have a comfortable life.

now, my wife and I both work two jobs and we barely get by.
Jones obviously learned her math and economics ….
idiot

bootney farnsworth

February 23rd, 2012
7:08 pm

more proof our elected officials are clinically insane

Dr. Craig Spinks/Georgians for Educational Excellence

February 23rd, 2012
7:28 pm

The Teachers’ Retirement System provides my wife and myself generous pensions. At least, I think they’re generous. My wife may disagree.

I have read that our state’s teachers’ total benefits package, including pensions, was the highest in the country. Unfortunately, I don’t recall where I read this assertion.

Pensions

February 23rd, 2012
7:46 pm

Pensions in today’s economy are a thing of the past…except for government workers, who are about the only people who get them.

It’s difficult to take the complaining from teachers when the economy is in the tank and many people have no job at all…due to no fault of their own.

I have no benefits anymore, not even health insurance. I pay out of pocket for all of it including all the premiums and co-pays. I have no paid time off, zero. Pensions are a dream. in the future I will live on what i save — and I am one of the lucky ones because I actually have a job.

GA teachers, try working out here in the non-government employee world. You’ll realize just how good you have it.

Good Mother

Dekalbite

February 23rd, 2012
7:47 pm

The Georgia DOE website lists the average pay for teachers in Georgia as $53,154.
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&StateId=ALL&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

So the salary is correct. However the benefits figure seems awfully high – a 36% override in benefit costs. This is curious since Ms. Tyson, the Interim Superintendent for DCSS, assigned a 20% benefit figure for each teaching position she eliminated to balance the budget.
http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2011/11/where-have-all-our-teachers-gone.html

That’s about an $9,000 variance between what this report says and what DCSS used to compute their benefit figures for teachers when they were eliminating teaching positions.

http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=644&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and fiscal)

It would help if they showed the data and its source they used for the computation.

Also interesting is the fact that many of the rural counties have higher average teacher pay than the metro area counties. The benefits of course are the same for all teachers in Georgia so that is a constant percentage:

Some Georgia Rural school systems:
Harris: $54,792
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=672&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

Tift:
$51,145
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=737&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

Emanuel: $53,732
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=653&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

Butts:
$50,757
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=618&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

Pickens:
$57,113
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=712&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

Houston:
$53,453
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=676&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

Glynn:
$53,440
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=663&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

Jasper:
$51,774
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=679&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

Whitfield:
$54,690
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=755&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

Some Metro Systems:

Decatur City:
$55,981
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=773&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

DeKalb:
$54,412
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=644&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

Fulton:
$53,080
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=660&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

Cobb:
$53,320
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=633&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

Forsyth:
$54,495
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=658&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

APS:
$59,528
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=761&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

Rockdale:
$53,855
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=722&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

Gwinnett:
$54,996
http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=667&T=1&FY=2010
(Click on Personnel and Fiscal tab)

You would think the metro teachers would be paid considerably more since the cost of living is so much higher in metro Atlanta, but that’s really not the case just sampling the salaries.

Middle Ga Teacher

February 23rd, 2012
7:56 pm

I also think that these “average” salaries include the salaries of administrators, thereby proving that the math is funny. If that is the average salary for teachers, those standing in front of students, I would like to know where those higher paid teachers work. It is not at my school.

Prof

February 23rd, 2012
7:56 pm

@ Dr. Craig Spinks. Well, remember that those full TRS retirement benefits cannot be received until the person is 10 years vested and 60 years old, or 30 years vested; or, for partial benefits, 25 years vested. This means that for teachers who have been contributing for 24 years or less and then terminated, or terminated at 10 years vested who are age 59 or younger—their benefits are zilch, nada, kaput. And their years’ worth of contributions are just smoke.

sloboffthestreet

February 23rd, 2012
7:57 pm

Oh my,

I will address this to the so called smartest man on the blog, Dr. Leon Spinks.

Dear Doctor, and we all know you’re not really a doctor, please tell all the nice taxpaying, frustrated parents who have to endure such a substandard public education for their children, what state provides a larger salary, better health insurance, more time off for paid personal and sick days, a better retirement salary, { like anyone cares what your wife thinks, the poor woman, } and please include cost of living for the state you wish to have taught in and collected your retirement from? You can use real estate prices and taxes for your comparison. I don’t wish to trouble you with anything to thought consuming.

As for the rest of you lazy incompetent whiners, how about you quit blogging and attempt to educate the children of the state you suck the financial living life out of every day you show up for what you call work? Get off the computer and give it a try! It will make your mama’s proud!

catlady

February 23rd, 2012
8:07 pm

All I know is the COL is up, my pay is over $4000 less than in 2007 (this is the 3rd year of ten day furloughs), my health insurance has quadrupled in price but of less quality, my deductibles, copays, etc are higher by the year (probably double what they were), and now they are going to drop our pizz poor dental insurance.

sloboffthestreet

February 23rd, 2012
8:32 pm

catlady,

COL is up, a large % of working Americans don’t even have a work provided health care plan, and what is this dental insurance you speak of? P.S. the rest of us work for a smaller annual salary and work an additional 70 days a year. All the while you cannot even produce a product that can enter the workforce and earn enough to sustain your salary and benefit cost through the taxes they pay? The end is near.

As to the poor prof and his complaint, if you work the 30 and earn $50,000 your last 2 years the calculator says you can take a one time Plop payment of $93,000 and receive $2000.00 a month until you DIE!!! Or simply take the $2600.00 per month until you are dead. And remember your wonderful significant other also enjoys survivor benefits. But I’m certain they deserve it after listening to you cry poor me for their entire married lives. Go add up what you paid in over 30 years and come cry to us about what a raw deal you’re getting! And don’t forget to add in your Social Security check. You poor pathetic people. Complain much? Or is that all you ever do? Try teaching for a change!

Gwinnettian

February 23rd, 2012
8:55 pm

You have got to be kidding! When I left MO and moved to GA my salary here was only slightly less, but factoring for lower cost of housing, it was a good move. Now, top salary in my former district is over 85K per year for a Masters + 30 additional graduate hours, and still grants unlimited sick leave and 100% insurance premiums for teachers. Compared that to about 73K here (before furloughs) for top salary Master, lesser quality insurance, and minimal sick leave. The Midwest generally does not pay extra for PHD and if they do, it’s about 1K per year, but it only takes 16 years to reach top salary! I’m fine because I have that MO pension. Before you say you want to flee to MO, please understand that there is NOT a teacher shortage in MO and they can be VERY picky about who they hire. You can decide for yourself why that is…

To Dekalbite

February 23rd, 2012
8:55 pm

You said “You would think the metro teachers would be paid considerably more since the cost of living is so much higher in metro Atlanta, but that’s really not the case just sampling the salaries.”

Metro Atlanta teachers don’t live in the high tax areas nor do they pay the high cost of the housing — many of them commute in from a large home with low taxes and bring their child with them to teh school. My child’s teacher doesn’t live in my high tax bracket nor pays the high cost of housing here but she brings her children to school with her and enjoys teh benefit of not having to pay for the high costs of the school.

I would love to take my kid to work with me and leave to go home at 3 p.m. with my child in tow — and NOT have to pay for a nanny or other aftercare. That is also a benefit.

GM

Sam

February 23rd, 2012
8:58 pm

Enough with this topic. I make 40k a year. I can barely afford my student loans that I took out so I could become a teacher. I would love to make 50 grand…but it’s not ever going to happen. I have a second job and I am considering getting a third job just to make ends meet. As much as I would love to live on the warm fuzzies I’m supposed to have about my job, they just don’t pay the bills.

Gwinnettian

February 23rd, 2012
9:00 pm

And before you haters tell me to go back if I don’t like it here, I have a very good position I love and a principal with integrity. Plus, I am VERY good at what I do – could go anywhere anytime, but despite the traffic, I really like the weather in ATL!

Gwinnettian

February 23rd, 2012
9:04 pm

And before any of you hater tell me to go back if I don’t like it here, I have a wonderful position that love and a stellar principal who values my teaching. I could go anywhere anytime – I am VERY good at what I do, and I happen to like the weather ATL!

Gwinnettian

February 23rd, 2012
9:06 pm

SRY for the double post!

Prof

February 23rd, 2012
9:06 pm

Ah, sloboffthestreet, we’ve missed you for the last 3 weeks or so that you’ve been off the blog. I am impressed that you evidently went to the TRS website and discovered what lump-sum PLOP payments are…especially since it is difficult enough to figure that the TRS advises members who wish a PLOP distribution to “seek assistance from a financial adviser and tax professional” (Member’s Guide). Since you say here that you did it with a calculator, it sounds like a new career has opened up before you.

2nd grade teacher

February 23rd, 2012
9:23 pm

Wow! This shocks me, as I only make aout $40K a year….

Tony Dow

February 23rd, 2012
9:24 pm

Well, you can make a case for them being the highest paid, but you sure cannot make case for them being the best without being laughed out of town.

2nd grade teacher

February 23rd, 2012
9:24 pm

Ummm… WHY am I waiting for MODERATION????!!!?!?! Grrrrr

Ron F.

February 23rd, 2012
9:44 pm

When I consider the fact that after 23 years as a Georgia teacher, I make 55k a year with a master’s degree in my rural county that has a low local supplement, I find the math more than a little fuzzy. In figuring average teacher salary, they had to have included all certified employees, which would include admins and even many superintendents who are former teachers. I WISH I made the average number quoted!! Now, on paper, I’m supposed to make 60k and some change, but I won’t likely see that in the next few years, especially as the state “adjusts” funding formulas. Granted, I could possibly go back to the metro area and come up on the payscale some, but I’ll happily stay as far from there as I reasonably can. I’m also at the top of the payscale, so my salary won’t increase unless we get a COL raise, and I surely don’t expect that between now any my retirement date. To be honest, I’m seriously considering cashing in at 25 years and taking the little I’ll get for a pension just to be out of the way when the charter/voucher mess gets a good head of steam built up.

William Casey

February 23rd, 2012
9:55 pm

As Tony pointed out at 5:47, there was a time when Georgia teachers made some relative gains in compensation. That period ended around the year 2000. Teacher salary growth became stagnant long before the economic downturn of 2008.

Old Physics Teacher

February 23rd, 2012
10:01 pm

sloboffthestreet,

I remember my dad, who only had a 10th grade education once said, “Figures don’t lie, but liars do figure.” He made more that 75% of the people in the state at that time. Now I try to be a little less confrontational, but you are trying to compare apples and oranges. When you compare a MS in a profession (think MBA or MS Statistics) with 10 years experience, not a one of these is making $50k. I have children with better skills than these, all of them are well over $100k. One is in the close range of $170k another is over $150k. Even their spouses make more than $70k. I was in that range ‘back when’ and gave it up for the “prestige” of teaching the children of the state. I have no complaints about my pay, because I didn’t go into teaching with the idea the people of the state owed me anything special. I just didn’t think the people of the state would be so willing to accept the lying Legislator’s scapegoating of us.

Now you obviously think $50k is a lot of money, and to you it probably is. That’s because you aren’t educated, or skilled, enough for your employer to pay that high a salary. You might consider going back to school, picking up a good education and forcing your employer to pay you better. Complaining about our pay won’t increase yours.

Respectfully,

Meme

February 23rd, 2012
10:13 pm

Our superintendent, overstaffed board of education employees (ridiculous) and high school coaches. YES!

Teachers? NO!

Julian

February 23rd, 2012
10:19 pm

Considering the limited number of hours most teacher work during the year, I find their pay fair for their responsibilities. Many of the ladies I know who are school teacher spend the majority of their day on the computer emailing friends, making happy hour plans and constantly posting on Facebook and other social media sites how much they despise their students. Sadly, some of their grammar and spelling is pathetic. Have you ever heard of a teacher who spells ridiculous with an “e?” “Rediculous”

TimeOut

February 23rd, 2012
10:30 pm

Dekalbite

February 23rd, 2012
10:35 pm

“In figuring average teacher salary, they had to have included all certified employees, which would include admins and even many superintendents who are former teachers.

The figures for base pay are based on teachers, not admin and support that have teaching certification but do not teach. Look at this Georgia link (click on the Personnel and Fiscal tab) and you will see Teachers are separate from Administrators and Support Personnel:

http://archives.gadoe.org/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&StateId=ALL&T=1&FY=2010

I still think 36% in benefits is very high.

For example, did they include substitutes in the paid sick leave formula? I’m not sure you can consider a substitute to be a benefit. After all, when I was in business if I missed work, no one got me a substitute. I just came back and caught up with my work. As a teacher, I basically did the same catch up since subs can’t really do your teaching job. However, the students needed an adult to watch them for safety reasons so of course there was a sub when I was absent. I still have the catch up so is that a benefit to me?

A percentage of sick days are also debatable. When I was in business I rarely got sick since I worked around adults who were not in my face and in close proximity – have you ever been in a room with 30 children all day? When I taught, frequently getting infectious diseases was expected. Anyone who has ever had children knows that’s true – now multiply that about 10 or 15 times with the contact you have with students. Quite frankly, being sick more often didn’t seem like a benefit to me as a teacher.

With no original data to look at, conclusions cannot be verified. AJC was right to label it “Half True”.

kitty

February 23rd, 2012
10:42 pm

When I taught, my students learned. Never went home at 3:30. Went in early, stayed late, as did most of the teachers where I worked. Actually, retired because of the LONG hours. If anyone out there in education goes home at 3:30 EVERY
day, I’d like to apply for a job in your system.

ScienceTeacher671

February 23rd, 2012
11:15 pm

Since 2008, the National Board Certified Teachers in Georgia have lost their 10% supplements, and we’ve all lost our cost of living raises and had our pay cut through furlough days.

I don’t think using 2008 numbers today is very honest. Maybe no one “has jumped ahead of us” but it certainly looks as if we’re trying to go to the back of the line.

Pink

February 23rd, 2012
11:54 pm

Teachers rallied against Roy Barnes because he was going to make them earn their raises. Well, how did that work out for you? About as well as the folk who rallied against Roy Barnes because he wanted to change the old racist state flag. Ha ha ha ha ha. The people of Georgia are fools.

I'm a teacher

February 24th, 2012
1:19 am

sloboffthestreet I thought this blog was for a serious discussion of serious topics dealing with this state’s education issues – not a forum for abusive rants. I am not lazy nor incompetent and I do not whine – whereas many of your posts have a distinct whine to them

I am blogging on my own time – not time I am supposed to be at work – noting many of your posts in the past at all times of the day – can the same be said for you? and if you do not work where should the label of lazy go?

Your posts make it seem as if no child in Georgia is getting a quality education – the number of seniors who already have acceptance letters from colleges all over the country (last year we had several from other countries as well) again shows that you have no idea what you are talking about.

If you think that teachers are so incompetent, have easy jobs and are paid so well – go through the TAPP program and become one.

And for those who say for us to join the “real world” we are already there as is stated by the quote

“In general, though, Humphreys said salaries are based on simple supply and demand. “To get enough teachers to move into those states, they have to pay more,” Humphreys said. “It’s really market economics at its best.””

So for those who say that teachers in Georgia are substandard – basic economics says that you are getting what you are paying for.

I'm a teacher

February 24th, 2012
1:31 am

If you notice that the main reason they say we are to top paid is the benefits package – the way the state has been raiding the retirement funds of the police and fire departments – do you really think that they are going to leave the teacher’s retirement alone? I am doing just like many in “the real world” (I would like to know what world I am in if it is not the real one) and putting money in personal retirement funds because I firmly believe that what I am contributing to the stated fund will not be there when it is time for me to retire – forget the matching money that the state puts in – I am talking about what is deducted from my supposedly “top” salary paycheck.

I will also state that both of my parents and my mother-in-law (my father in law as well before he died) had a much better retirement package than I will ever see and only two of them held degrees.

If you want to talk about sweet benefits – go look at some of the skilled and unskilled union workers – then come and talk to me about how great my benefit package is

I'm a teacher

February 24th, 2012
1:37 am

sorry – it is late the first sentence should have been “we are the top paid” and the further down should be “contributing to the state fund” I do not want anyone to use a few simple typos as proof that I am an incompetent teacher

I'm a teacher

February 24th, 2012
1:55 am

Good Mother – what I said to sloboffthestreet goes for you as well if you think we have it so good – go through TAPP and become a teacher. From reading your posts (again at all times of the day) you are either a stay at home mom or maybe self employed. That was your choice so the fact that you have no benefits was part of that choice. My husband and many others that I know are self employed or work for small businesses and they do not have benefits but I have many other friends who work (outside of government jobs) for companies who have great benefits.

sloboffthestreet and good mother keep accusing teachers of whining but they are the ones who keep bringing up all the people who are out of work and can’t find jobs – while many sectors of our state economy – namely the state’s agricultural community – keeps reporting that they have jobs available but no takers.

Peter Smagorinsky

February 24th, 2012
6:05 am

Take a look at http://www.oprfhs.org/export/sites/oprf/programs_and_services/human_resources/2011-2012_Cert_Sal_Sch-App_F.pdf which provides the salary scale for one Chicago area high school. I taught at OPRFHS in the 1980s. Of course, buying a house in a Chicago suburb costs more than buying one in most parts of Georgia, and taxes are higher (thus the difference in salaries). But I can’t imagine any mathematics where Georgia teachers can bring home more than I would if I were still teaching at OPRF (I’d be at the top of the scale).

redweather

February 24th, 2012
6:34 am

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the 2009 average teacher salary in Georgia was $51,050. This figure represents a 5.43 percent increase over the previous year’s average salary of $48,420. This makes Georgia teacher salaries slightly higher than the national average for teacher salaries, which was $49,720 in 2009 and $48,353 in 2008.

The average teacher salary in Georgia has been steadily rising for the last several years. In 2007, teacher salaries in Georgia were $46,900 before increasing by 3.24 percent the following year.

Teaching salaries in Georgia have hovered near the mid-point of national rankings. In 2007, teaching salaries in Georgia ranked 20th in the nation before falling to 21st place in 2008. In 2009, Georgia teacher salaries rose to 19th place in the nation.

Nancy

February 24th, 2012
6:43 am

Keep in mind that the John Locke Foundation in NC is a right wing think tank that is hell bent on privatizing public education so their “research’ is geared towards making people angry at public school teachers. Those of you who say let the teachers try to make it in the private sector are just foolish. Teachers are the reason YOU can be in the private sector…without a teacher you would be a caveman…in addition, teachers work looong days, many without even a toilet break, they take work home at night and work on weekends. They have to differentiate their lesson plans to fit each individual child, meet with parents, make sure they are teaching 21 Century Skills, make sure kids pass tests, not matter how far behind the child is, have little to no planning time to do all this..have college degrees and often master’s degrees, pay for things for their classrooms out of their own pockets, etc. Teachers go above and beyond…because they love their jobs. They couldn’t/wouldn’t do it if they didn’t love their jobs. No one goes into teaching to become rich..they are motivated by the success they see in their kids..but they deserve our respect and they deserve to be treated fairly and paid what they are worth.

I gave up my Xbox for lent boo-hoo

February 24th, 2012
6:55 am

I think everyone needs to think about something: we have a TON of doctors teaching here, which substantially increases the mean income amount. I am reading this with my morning coffee, readying myself for another day of all-I-can-give education. I am paid fairly for the profession I chose. My family in NY even believes that, and they are unionized. GA stands by its good teachers, and we stand by it in return. my county’s scores are headed up, and when you see the new tests under CCGPS, you will see Georgia higher up than you think, I just hope they keep the measuring stick uniform. Besides, Georgia is the most beautiful and friendliest state in the union, this yankee loves it here!

Grandmother's proverbial saying

February 24th, 2012
7:44 am

Just heard that Fulton County teachers were getting a $1,000 bonus check. They might need to hold on to it, just in case the superintendent wants to take it back.

Old timer

February 24th, 2012
7:52 am

Good ole Roy Barnes started the downswing in teacher’s salary. He was a democrate and seemed to have it in for teachers.

Csoby

February 24th, 2012
7:55 am

Hmm…I really do think the Teachers should be paid more..the good ones that is…but they also should come under accountability, as all do when working in corporate america. If you do not live up to expectations, you get the opportunity to fine work elsewhere. Tenure should go the route of The Edsel…But more than that, I still believe it is time to hold parents accountable..if we pay the Teachers more, then let them Teach..otherwise, they become overpaid baby sitters!!