House votes to cut teacher bonuses

By Ben Smith

bsmith@ajc.com

A bill to cut bonuses provided to public school teachers under a national certification program cleared the Georgia House Thursday.

In a 92 to 79 vote, the chamber passed a revised version of the legislation.

House Bill 243 seeks eliminate the 10 percent salary increases for teachers certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

The revised bill would allow teachers who already receive the bonuses to keep them, but no new certificate recipients would get them.

The original bill, filed on behalf of Gov. Perdue would have eliminated them entirely. State House Education committee chairman Brooks Coleman (R-Duluth) said the amendment seeks to “honor our commitment” to teachers already receiving bonuses.

Supporters say the bill would save the state $12 million a year. Opponents said the bill punishes teachers and raises questions about the state of Georgia’s commitment to public education.

Some Democrats warned that the bill could easily be changed backed to its original form.

“I have never seen anything so short-sighted in my life,” said state House Minority Leader DuBose Porter (D-Dublin). “Do we believe in education and getting our teachers better trained or not?

“That’s what this vote is about,” Porter said.

8 comments Add your comment

Lauri

March 12th, 2009
3:26 pm

Porter, you’re an idiot! We need a better education system. If anything, money should be pouring into getting our teachers better trained and put our children first. Georgia’s placement for education ranked quite low on a nationwide survey and the US ranked poorly compared to other countries. Schmuck!

tracher

March 12th, 2009
7:07 pm

How many pay raises has our GA legislature given itself in the past few years. If we keep de-valuing our teachers and administaters, we will surely lose an important profession. Women still only make 75 cents to each dollar a man makes. Women dominate this profession. You not only de-value teachers and students, but women in general when you tell they are not worth the money. Shame on these legislators.

d

March 12th, 2009
11:42 pm

Lauri, did you read what Porter said? He said we need to be rewarding teachers for getting better training. Just as a side note, since we’re ranking Georgia based upon SAT scores, yes, apparently we have low aptitude scores, meaning we have low learning ability. Oh well. Actually, if you break down scores by race, we have amongst the highest scores for minorities of any state, but that gets lost in the fact that we do test 70% of our students on SAT and states that score better tend to test the top 10% only. Oh, and the US scores lower because, again, we compare all of our students to students in countries like Japan and Germany who pull out their lower performing students and put them in tech school around the 8th grade. We compare apples to oranges and then complain. UGH!

bravesfan

March 13th, 2009
10:18 am

I pray that the citizens of this state will remember the 92 representatives that voted against the National Board Certified teachers in favor of HB 243. I pray that these same 92 will suffer the same fate that Roy Barnes did when he went against the teachers and get voted OUT.

[...] Your cities and towns are in disrepair, your infrastructure is crumbling. You devalue your teachers, and reward thieves. You let your schools flounder; therefore many of your children are ignorant [...]

[...] Your cities and towns are in disrepair, your infrastructure is crumbling. You devalue your teachers, and reward thieves. You let your schools flounder; therefore many of your children [...]

[...] Your cities and towns are in disrepair, your infrastructure is crumbling. You devalue your teachers, and reward thieves. You let your schools flounder; therefore many of your children are ignorant [...]

[...] Your cities and towns are in disrepair, your infrastructure is crumbling. You devalue your teachers, and reward thieves. You let your schools flounder; therefore many of your children are ignorant [...]