No surprise. No cost of living raises for Georgia teachers

I doubt anyone is surprised, but I know that nobody is happy with this news today.

From the AJC story today on the House and Senate budget-writers approving a $19.3 billion spending plan:

The spending plan for fiscal 2013, which begins July 1, does not include cost-of-living pay raises for most of the state’s more than 200,000 teachers and employees. State employees haven’t received cost-of-living raises since shortly after the start of the Great Recession.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

50 comments Add your comment

JacketFan

March 26th, 2012
1:24 pm

I started my first tenure-track job in this state in 2006. I have yet to receive a cost of living raise.

Jefferson

March 26th, 2012
1:30 pm

And charter schools will take from public funds.

Digger

March 26th, 2012
1:37 pm

Erasers will continue to be subsidized, however.

TimeOut

March 26th, 2012
1:41 pm

Pay raises are not to be expected in this economy. However, the economy does not explain the stupidity of NCLB, AYP, and other legislative idiocy. Those elements are far more damaging to our schools than are the loss of raises to the rank and file. If we would remove the $$$ allocated for educational CYA (as well as a large portion of the ‘let’s be all things to all people’ garbage) through legislative means, we could do a lot more than re-instate ‘cost of living’ salary increases.

Pluto

March 26th, 2012
1:46 pm

Well we may not be getting a cost of living adjustment (again) but the cost of living is sure getting a little rough for our highly qualified and valued teachers. How many BOEs have given out healthy raises to the superintendents and the like? We are just a bunch of 2×4s.

I got a cost of living decrease

March 26th, 2012
1:59 pm

I work in the private sector. I got a cost of living decrease.
My employer no longer provides any benefits or health insurance. Those things come right out of my pocket. I never got a pension. That’s always been my own savings but…I don’t complain because I have a job. I know many who don’t.
For all you good teachers out there, I thank you. I am hoping for better times, voting my conscience and as a room parent, I do my best to provide you with absolutely everything you need so that not a penny comes out of your pocket. We have awesome parents in my childrens’ schools.
GM

Pluto's Point

March 26th, 2012
2:01 pm

Pluto makes a good point. Heshe writes “How many BOEs have given out healthy raises to the superintendents and the like?”
I know of at least one. The former Board of Education in Dekalb County Schools gave himself a huge $25,000 raise while at the same time closed schools. He is not longer the BOE. Now that’s priceless :)
GM

Clarence

March 26th, 2012
2:02 pm

As teachers are the only state employees with a step-based salary schedule, they are among the ONLY state employees getting a raise…

Elizabeth

March 26th, 2012
2:08 pm

Teachers do not get raises, but the board office secretaries, receptionists, clerks, and other favored ones get raises in the middle of the year. We have a clerk making more than a first year teacher. No, she is not better qualified. Our board office is so top heavy, it should tilt over any minute.

Where is the incentive for anyone with half a brain to go into education to TEACH? Administrative folks do fine, classroom teachers will remain the whipping boy under they develop the backbone to stand up for themselves.

Perhaps a rally?

GA Teach

March 26th, 2012
2:08 pm

@Clarence

Most BOE’s have frozen step raises and COLA’s since 2008

John

March 26th, 2012
2:08 pm

Or, what about the folks who are past 19 years? How long has it been since they got a raise? How about years??

Clarence

March 26th, 2012
2:16 pm

@GA Teach I don’t think you are correct to say “most” – the state has funded step increases and advanced degree pay every year. Many systems that pay well above the state approved pay schedule hav frozen step increases, but not “most” systems.

Clarence

March 26th, 2012
2:17 pm

@John, you are right about those teachers. I was more pointing out that while *many* teachers will get a raise, other state employees *definately* won’t.

Really

March 26th, 2012
2:21 pm

Cost of living raise? I would just like to get a full years salary. Next year will be my fourth with furlough days.

Fled

March 26th, 2012
2:27 pm

The repuke war on education continues, and, really, who is surprised? As long as y’all keep taking it, they will keep dishing it out. Repukes will not stop until public education is a thing of the past and that big pile of tax money for schools has been turned into corporate profits, as they think it should be.

There are places where good teachers are respected, valued, and paid well. However, until you get the heck out of that rednecked, benighted state nothing will change in your life or work. When you get the gumption to get to where the getting is good, your circumstances and mood will improve faster than Beverly Hall can deny that APS changed test answers. No excuses.

You have no one to blame but yourself if you continue to work in intolerable conditions. Are you really benefiting students when you can no longer function in the circumstances that will face you now and for many years to come?

Had enough yet, teachers?

Give up. Throw in the towel. Flee.

Angela

March 26th, 2012
2:28 pm

@Really

Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Tooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Angela

March 26th, 2012
2:45 pm

It is still so sad that teachers are the least respected professionals in the United States. Educators in other countries are highly respected by students, parents, each other and others. Last week I made a post about receiving all of my pay. Read below:

Hello To All DCSS Staff,

We have gone through a lot this school year. A lot of changes are being made. Yet, they don’t seem to be as positive as one would like to think or even believe. Dr. Atkinson is looking at giving us raises however, we must stand up and say we want our money back that has been taken from us. Please note if we get a raise it will be at best 3% or less. We in excess have lost from our pay checks at least 20-30%. If we are given raises instead of our money back we still lose.

Please stand up and fight for our money back as well as a merit raise.

As for children being disrespectful. Most of us have been taught to respect adults however, we as adults tend not to recognize children as being human beings. I think that we should sometimes analyze the difference between disrespectful and just trying to express their feelings.

another comment

March 22nd, 2012
12:55 pm
Angela, you are showing why the general public does not have much respect for teachers right now. While you acknowledge Dr. Atkinson has done alot, and has alot of work ahead. You state that a 3% of less raise is not acceptable in one year, you want all 20-30% you claim to have lost back in one year. I an educated parent read your post and come to a conclusion that someone that selfish and ignorant of the budget shortfalls that still exist. The tax base is way off in Dekalb and other counties what is 5 years ago. So unless you think that politicans and those directly appointed by them are ready to commit political suicide and give out 20-30% raises you are nuts. Fayette County one of the better School Systems in the area just announced that they are going to have to lay-off 70 teachers. I am sure those 70 will take your 3% raise.

Maybe you Angela and those like you do need to quit. I have not had a raise in several years. Because the President I bet you voted for, decided he would just freeze my pay, for two years. All Political.

Dekalbite@another comment

March 22nd, 2012
11:24 pm
“You state that a 3% of less raise is not acceptable in one year, you want all 20-30% you claim to have lost back in one year.”

Angela is not as off base as you would say. The recent Compensation Audit that found over 330+ highly paid Central office employees should be eliminated also found that teachers in DeKalb are the most underpaid employee group by 20% to 30%. The support personnel portion of the audit has not been released yet. Please consider that DeKalb has 8,500 admin and support personnel and only 6,500 teachers. Admin and support personnel grew by leaps and bounds under Crawford Lewis and teachers’ pay fares poorly compared to many of them who only require a GED as an education level. Many of these highly paid admin and support personnel are “friends and family” of the Board members.

Back in 2004 a Compensation audit showed that 2,500 DCSS non teaching personnel were being overpaid by around $15,000,000 and that was directly before Lewis took over. He buried that audit and made no personnel or salary changes. In fact he added many more non teaching personnel. Just considering the $15,000,000 a year in saving in non teaching salaries over 7 years equates to over $100,000,000 million in saving we SHOULD have realized. The teaching salaries have gotten worse while the non teaching salaries have not only not been rightsized, they have actually grown.

As an example, DeKalb pays $4,500,000 for 79 Parent Involvement personnel who only require an Associate degree (2 years of college) and no certification (not even paraprofessional, and almost all have no certification), yet they are paid an average of $57,000 a year in salary and benefits. By contrast, Clayton Schools $1,700,000 for 45 Parent Involvement personnel who are all certified paraprofessionals and make an average of $38,000 a year in salary and benefits. A former BOE member who just lost her last election has a daughter employed as a DeKalb Parent Involvement Coordinator making $71,000 in salary and benefits with less than 8 years in DeKalb (in comparison, a teacher with a PhD in Physics and 8 years experience makes $66,000 in salary and benefits).

Another example is the Security group. The Compensation audit recommends that they be reduced by 95 positions. Currently, DeKalb spends close to $11,000,000 for 204 Security personnel (and this is only for middle and high schools – elementary schools are “on their own”). The Security personnel average $55,000 a year in salary and benefits. By contrast, Gwinnett spends $2,800,000 for 48 Security personnel, Clayton spends $1,000,000 for 180 Security personnel and $5,000,000 for 282 Security personnel. The DeKalb’s Board chairman has a son who is in Security along with 4 other of his relatives who work for the school system (none of them teachers).

Fernbank Science Center employs only 29 teachers and 30+ admin and support personnel. This cost center consumes around $7,000,000 a year of our science budget while science scores have fallen to an historic low (less than 50% of DeKalb 8th graders understand even the most basic science concepts). Meanwhile, the teachers in the schools who teach science every day in class sizes of 35+ only had $55,000 to obtain all of their equipment and supplies – that works out to 55 cents per child for the entire year for science labs. Most of the science supplies are being bought by the teachers out of their own pockets.

These are just a few examples of the waste that plagues our school system. There are many more.

To see the Compensation audit for yourself, click on the link below (BTW – the DeKalb Schools System did not post this audit that taxpayers paid for on their website. Rather, the blog DeKalb School Watch Two used a Freedom of Information request to get it):
http://dekalbschoolwatch.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/full-report-phase-i-dcss-audit-jan-2012.pdf

If you want to see the teacher salary comparisons, look on page 95. You will see where Angela got the 20% to 30% figure.

DeKalb County is behind in teacher compensation – on the low side of salary in metro Atlanta and in addition DeKalb is not paying into Social Security for teachers. There is a battle going on right now as Dr. Atkinson tries to dismantle the overpriced “friends and family” bureaucracy that Lewis installed. Every citizen of DeKalb needs to support Dr. Atkinson efforts – especially since the Board chairman apparently is not happy with her replacing the administrators who have utterly failed our students.

It is absolutely critical that Dr. Atkinson posts the salary schedules of ALL personnel on the DCSS website like EVERY other metro system. Currently, only the teacher salary schedule which covers 6,500 employees is posted. The salary schedules for the other 8,500 non teaching personnel are not posted. Too many times, salary schedules were created within Human Resources and non teaching personnel have been moved to those schedules in order to receive hefty raises while teacher compensation has been going backwards.

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I just thought that I would share this again.

Two Cents

March 26th, 2012
2:47 pm

As always the repugs put the screws to education. They need the screws put to them – like out of office.

Just A Teacher

March 26th, 2012
2:50 pm

@Maureen or anyone who knows this information . . . How long has it been since state senators and congress members received a raise? I’d be interested to know if they are suffering like the rest of us.

Sassy

March 26th, 2012
2:59 pm

I did not expect a raise this year. I’m just hoping my pay will not be reduced further. Cost of living has gone up tremendously while I have not seen a raise in four years. It is a crying shame no more value is placed on education and teachers. Yet we wonder why our children are in failing classrooms throughout the state.

stimpy

March 26th, 2012
3:06 pm

…and no one should be surprised that the superintendent of Clayton County Schools got his $40k pay increase…

Prof

March 26th, 2012
3:33 pm

Just a reminder to everyone who thinks that the annual USG tuition raises have been due to the exorbitant salaries of professors — USG faculty salaries have been frozen since 2008 (as I think JacketFan was pointing out).

Shocking

March 26th, 2012
4:43 pm

Do yourselves and your children a favor and invest 5 hours to watch this series by a former NY State Teacher of the Year. What he reveals is SHOCKING.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQiW_l848t8

irisheyes

March 26th, 2012
4:47 pm

Certainly not surprised. Of course, I can’t turn in my sick leave in June and get a check for it like the GCPS superintendent. Wouldn’t that be nice? I could use a nice check at the end of July when I’m out buying school supplies for the 25+ kids that I’ll have next year.

shame on georgia

March 26th, 2012
4:51 pm

The Clayton County Super received 40,000 dollars for what? Oh yeah, he decimated the system. You reap what you sow. Can’t wait until the super is exposed for what he is and what he does.

Elizabeth

March 26th, 2012
5:45 pm

I don’t know who the Elizabeth is who wrote in this blog, But I have used that name since I strated blogging. I did not write the above post. Change your moniker, please.

V for Vendetta

March 26th, 2012
6:28 pm

I would tend to agree with what GM said. Yes, we are hurting, but many other professions are hurting, too. I do not think one is worse than the other. I am less concerned about getting raises and more concerned about the in which our schools are run or how the money we DO have is being spent. I think a raise is possible if one eliminated the bloat in the budget. But who am I kidding? This is a government job, so no one will be eliminating any bloat any time soon.

mountain man

March 26th, 2012
6:40 pm

I am sure this makes lots of good, well-qualified people long to be teachers. Nobody in their right mind should take up teaching as a career. I am sure the good ones think they will go to private schools or get into East Cobb schools.

HS Public Teacher

March 26th, 2012
6:44 pm

This years excuse? The economy.

But what about when the economy was good? Teachers still got nothing in Georgia.

Now? We get to work without pay – called “furlough days.” Oh yeah, I need to run to put ointment on my back for those whip marks…..

Miss Management

March 26th, 2012
8:06 pm

The cost of living has not gone up, therefore, no cost of living increase.

Dekalb Teacher and Mom

March 26th, 2012
8:17 pm

@ Miss Management-I assume you are joking because I assume you have bought gas and groceries lately.

had enough

March 26th, 2012
9:12 pm

The CCPS super wants to eliminate middle school athletics. How about eliminating a large chunk of your salary, eliminating the position created for your spouse, and your 10,000 dollar travel allowance. Also, eliminate hanging with Dr. Hendrix. Who watches it anyway?

Angela

March 26th, 2012
9:32 pm

@Maureen,

Just A Teacher

March 26th, 2012
2:50 pm
@Maureen or anyone who knows this information . . . How long has it been since state senators and congress members received a raise? I’d be interested to know if they are suffering like the rest of us.
*******************************************************************************************************************************************
Please if you would/could please find out this information I am eagerly interested in knowing the answer. Thanks!

had enough

March 26th, 2012
9:54 pm

Why was Dr. Heatley so angry at the board meeting?

had enough

March 26th, 2012
9:57 pm

Heatley wants to increase the class size by 5 students. Now we will have 33-34 students per class.

had enough

March 26th, 2012
9:59 pm

Black Monday in Clayton County for all public school employees.

Cobb History Teacher

March 26th, 2012
10:14 pm

Yes, I too would love a cost of living raise, but if I can’t get that can I get every major utility (gas, electricity, water, etc.) every grocery chain, every gas station, every department store etc. to exactly what I’ve been asked to do over the last few years and simply suck it up and take a loss. Why is it the common man can be told tough you have to pay more, why can’t they just take less and feel the same pain we feel?

Union???

March 26th, 2012
11:16 pm

It’s unfortunate that we, teachers, have gone as long as six years without any pay increase, but the requirements of our job continues to increase. Class size, evaluations, test taking measures, and low morale continues to challenge us more each month. In my system, administrators stopped using substitute teachers, and have spread the students in other classrooms due to a teacher’s absence. Our new evaluation system was funded by the federal government (to the State of Georgia) to pay teachers according to their performance. It’s amazing that the money was given to the state for us, but we aren’t seeing that money either. Our conditions, situations, and compensations will continue to decrease, while the demands, requirements, and circumstances will increase unless we have a union to protect us from the practices our education system constantly will get away with as long as possible. Many people are content they have a job. I hope you’re content when you’re ready to retire, but can’t because your pension won’t support your living (thanks to the lack of increases you could have calculated in your retirement pay.) If Georgia educators refuse to stand their grounds, then you’re settling for anything to nothing. Just look at the contracts and working conditions of teachers in unions. Talk to those who are employed under a teachers union, you’ll be amazed at what we must go through and tolerate. You’ll see that we are no longer respected like professionals, but like experienced amateurs.

Dekalbite@Union??

March 26th, 2012
11:27 pm

“Our new evaluation system was funded by the federal government (to the State of Georgia) to pay teachers according to their performance. It’s amazing that the money was given to the state for us, but we aren’t seeing that money either.”

Much of this money is being spent on non teaching personnel – Coaches and Coordinators. I call it the “anything but teachers” mentality.

@ Shocked

March 27th, 2012
12:01 am

Sad part is that most teachers or parents won’t watch that video, read his book, or the one by Charlotte Iserbyt The Deliberate Dumbing of America.

Too many teachers are not worried about the product our children are receiving and instead are worried about the payment/compensation that they are receiving. Too many parents don’t want to believe that this is what has happened to education. They want to think that it’s like what they received when they were young. It’s not. We are no longer educating children.

TimeOut

March 27th, 2012
12:29 am

Concerned, capable teachers can and do focus on the ‘end product’ of their daily efforts. This does not require that they turn a blind eye to the destruction of their profession. Rather, these two concerns are complementary. Also, schools weren’t that great in past years. For example, in Tennessee and Georgia, in the 70’s, there were math teachers with no more than two years of college math to their credit. How do I know this? When I transferred to the south from New York, my teachers gave me a book and assigned me to tutor other capable students while they worked on multiplication tables and the like. They TOLD me that they had to teach math because there was no one else available. Daily, I observe a great deal more learning going on in classrooms all around me than I saw then. My situation was not unusual. Many fellow students in college reported similar experiences. The problem is not that the ‘good old days’ are gone. The problem is not that teachers care more about compensation than competent instruction. The problem is that teaching is not a valued profession in this nation and learning is not a priority in our communities. We want the fat jobs. We want the nice homes, cars, etc. We do not value intellectual capital so much as we value what we think it can buy. This helps lead us in the wrong direction over and over again. We need to send a message to decision makers that we don’t give a rip about standardized testing, NCLB, AYP, RACE TO THE TOP, and other idiotic, ill-formed bandaids. We care about our children’s development of critical thinking skills, BASIC skills, and the overall talent development of our greatest natural resource, our human potential. We will have to unite in order to vote in those who will meet our demands for a transparent government that puts the needs of the children ahead of the pockets of politicians and other fat cats. Follow the money. Then shine a light on where and to whom it leads. “OUT” the power mongers who use our children as props, ballast, and other forms of support for their own ends.

Happy Kine and The Mirth Makers

March 27th, 2012
9:53 am

Ive yet to receive a cost of living raise and am fine with it.

You dont work, you dont eat.

Prof

March 27th, 2012
12:09 pm

@ @Shocked, March 27th, 12:01 am. “Sad part is that most teachers or parents won’t watch that video, read his book, or the one by Charlotte Iserbyt The Deliberate Dumbing of America.”

This is a vanity press book. Is “@ Shocked” really Charlotte Iserbyt, looking for free advertising??

Pete

March 27th, 2012
2:35 pm

Cost of living raise? In 10 years of teaching, I have never got a ‘cost of living raise’. Plus, this year is my 4th year being furloughed for 2 weeks pay. Of course, I never get furlough days off as by law. The school system just takes our pay and we are asked to do more.

God Bless the Teacher!

March 28th, 2012
6:07 am

No problem, politicians. November is coming…

Just the Facts

March 28th, 2012
6:58 am

Jefferson
March 26th, 2012
1:30 pm

And charter schools will take from public funds.

=====================

…as does the APS for its cheating scandal:
6 million for suspended teachers
4 million spent on tutors for the kids affected by the cheating
600k+ in legal fees
400k returned “achievement” money from cheating schools…

Etc.

RTMan

March 28th, 2012
10:45 am

I have taught in Cobb since 2007, this is 5 years, every year since then my salary has gone down, i make about 300 dollars less than i did in 2007. Due to no cost of living allowance, lack of step increases as well as increases in insurance. Ridiculous. We shall see what teachers loeave the profession when the economy improves. Bye Bye!

Sam the Sham

March 28th, 2012
11:12 am

Can someone please explain to me what “Provide an increase based on 0.36% enrollment growth ($58,686,542) and for training and experience ($55,770,353)” and “Provide differentiated pay for newly certified math and science teachers $2,326,870″ which are in the final budget lines 1987 and 1988 if they are NOT pay raises for teachers?

Ron C.

March 29th, 2012
5:15 pm

No pay increase, but a significant workload increase year after year. Outright cruelty!

Suzette

April 2nd, 2012
2:41 pm

Some people are getting raises. Everyone in my family working for a private company has gotten raises. The state is requiring RTT, Teacher Keys, Leader Keys, Common Core the introduction of ECOT and the phase out of the Ga High School Graduation Test. The state has hired individuals to plan this work and provide training for educators. There has to be a cost in doing all of this, Why weren’t some of these put off for a while and the money used to raise educators. There are Administrative Assistants at the County Level that make more than teachers with a Master’s Degree. But Educators are expected to do everyone thing and continue to be happy. This is not a matter of them vs us’ I feel for anyone who has not gotten a raise. Educators are human. Everything is going up and we have to live under the same stress as anyone else.Please do not be critical of educators wanting and needing a raise.