Oxendine opposes cuts to top teachers

Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, a Republican candidate for governor in 2010, is the first hopeful out of the gate Monday with a news release denouncing cuts in bonuses for the state’s more 2,000 national board certified teachers.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported this weekend that national board certified teachers are seeing  the 10 percent bonuses they were promised cut in half. Gov. Sonny Perdue proposed eliminating the bonuses completely, but lawmakers provided just over half of the funding needed to provide the bonuses.

So those teachers are getting the equivalent of a 5 percent pay cut, often on top of furloughs.

“I acknowledge and understand that in order to avoid raising taxes, Georgia  must address serious and substantial budget cuts, but teacher pay is off limits,” Oxendine said. “I call on Governor Perdue and thre General Assembly to immediately reverse this policy and restore this vital funding to the very best of Georgia teachers. The message this cut sends to those education students in our colleges and universities is demoralizing.”

Oxendine isn’t going out on a limb on the issue. Most if not all of the gubernatorial candidates support the bonus program. Former Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democratic candidate for the top job, first implemented the 10 percent bonus program and for several years headed the board that ran the national certification process.  He called the cuts to the program “outrageous.”

67 comments Add your comment

Cam

September 28th, 2009
12:19 pm

While he is restoring things why not restore the furlough days too…. And to be fair many speciality educators such as SLPs, counselors, and others have national board certification from their perspective organizaations. Why are they not given the ten percent bonus too?

Stu

September 28th, 2009
12:40 pm

When is the Governor’s office going to be taking furlough days?

what about it

September 28th, 2009
12:45 pm

what makes him think that board certified means they are the best. It just means they did all the paperwork. the best teachers are the ones that spend all of their time trying to teach while having to do tons of paperwork for the state and federal government, putting up with kids that don’t care and dealing with parents that are just sprem and egg donors who think it is the teacher’s place to raise their children and it always the teacher’s fault!

LuLu Wheeler

September 28th, 2009
12:58 pm

The National Teacher Certification involves much more than filling out paperwork. There are courses to take, lessons and portfolios and even a teaching video to submit. The program is so rigorous that many teachers do not get certified the first time they try. The state agreed to the pay increase for these certified teachers, who had to pay to take the courses and the tests. Now they are calling it a “bonus” and trying to take it back. That is just wrong. If we “follow the money” we see where our values lie. In this state and with this governor, they do not lie with providing our children quality educations.

Bob

September 28th, 2009
1:01 pm

OK Mr Oxendine, where should we cut? Education comprises about 51% of the state budget and teacher salaries are about 2/3 of that total. If we don’t cut education a little, we have to cut other things a lot. Should we have State parks open only in Odd months and closed in Even ones? Maybe DFCS could just be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday? We could cut back on the State Patrol and have fewer officers to make the roads safe.

Where do we cut? Give that answer and then you have the right to say what to keep. That’s how the game is played. Cut something else or raise taxes. You pick it!

JLCG

September 28th, 2009
1:02 pm

What about all the other state employees that haven’t and won’t get a decent raise for the next few years?? I know many employees that are constantly overlooked because they aren’t teachers, but their jobs are just as important.

Husband of Teacher

September 28th, 2009
1:23 pm

All I know is that we have a gov. who wants to take money away from our teachers. How do you suppose we go about rewarding teachers based on performance Sonny, you will have every child getting an A in every class so their teachers can get their bonus, or you will punish teachers for kids not wanting to learn and not having a stable homelife that enables learning. There was a bonus awarded to teachers who furthered their education, not mandatory by the way(which it should be). Bonuses were awarded, now stick up to your end of the bargain and stop being the republican piece of crap you are. Where is all the lottery money going Sonny????

Why teach

September 28th, 2009
1:24 pm

Why not just close the schools until further notice. The students can stay home where the parents do such a great job of teaching their children. Save that 51 percent and the costof fuel to get the childten to school the cost to heat and cool the buildings. Those parents that have jobs can then hire the inemployed as babysitters and then the only unemployed will the the teachers who are so overpaid they can live on what they have made for the past ten years. Close the schools!!!!

Deepdiver

September 28th, 2009
1:25 pm

This is moronic. In any other field, getting more education will get you more earn you more money, but in education, since Sonny “I’m a stupid Hick” Perdue doesn’t agree with being paid for level of education received for teacher pay. He wants meirt pay, which makes no sense at all except to simplistic morons. Everyone will want to teach classes with kids from good homes and parents wih advanced degrees. No one will want to teach in troubled schools, because even if they are the best teacher, the kids could score poorly, because their parents are morons. Stupid Hick Perdue doesn’t understand that. Merit pay makes sense if every teacher gets to teach a class of equally capable students. It is that simple. When the playing field is not level, don’t try to make simplistic assessments.

JT

September 28th, 2009
1:27 pm

I commend Oxendine for his comments. Its time this state takes education seriously. Poor economy or not, Perdue’s actions shows a complete lack of commitment to improving the already dismal educational system in Georgia.

Katie

September 28th, 2009
1:28 pm

“What about it” comments that National Board simply requires filling out paperwork. I assure you that this is far from the case. The NB process is grueling, challenging, and the most difficult professional experience I’ve ever completed. Many PhD’s I’ve known who have done both have said they’d rather do a PhD again than go through NB.

The NB teachers in this state have proven we’re the most accomplished teachers. We were promised a stipend–not a bonus. Now, it is being stolen by people who clearly do not value teachers–or students.

I invite “What about it” to try the process and then see if he/she still values it so lightly. As it is, these comments are insulting.

Husband of Teacher

September 28th, 2009
1:32 pm

My wife spends countless hours in the classroom after hours to make sure her class is run perfectly when you have teachers that arrive 5 minutes prior to class and leave as soon as the bell goes off to end the day. You give these types of educators a bad taste in their mouths everytime you do things like this to them. We have a system, the lottery, that allows us to have millions upon million to spend on education, why can’t that money be used for this??? All of your excuses about taxes is just coming out of the mouths of the right winged idiots who have nothing better to do with their time than to complain every way they can about how a democrat is going to ruin our country..Cutting our educators is not the way to go and you should be ashamed of yourself for even recommending such a thing Sonny…idiot

leigh

September 28th, 2009
1:35 pm

I think there should be a salary freeze for all state
employees including teachers and administrators.
Also, there should be a COLA freeze for retired teachers
since they receive two increases a year which is way more
than anyone receives…and many of these “retired teachers”
are also working other jobs after retirement, ie tutoring,
subsituting, etc. They are also eligible for SS retirement
benefits, state health insurance benefits and Medicare.
This is outrageous, no wonder the State is broke!

Husband of Teacher

September 28th, 2009
1:35 pm

Couldn’t have said it better deepdiver….I guess you get what you get when you deal with hicks…

Judge Dawg

September 28th, 2009
1:41 pm

And there are plenty of funds for the Go Fish Georgia museum to encourage people to go fishing.

Tony

September 28th, 2009
1:53 pm

Here’s a start for a politician to reach out to the rather large block of teacher votes.

BTW, The national board certification process is a valuable tool for improving education. Earlier this year, the governor’s office released information from studies that supposedly showed that NBC teachers had only small increases on student achievement. What they did not say was that many of the NBC teachers already had high performing classrooms, meaning there was not really much room to show improvement.

Teachers are frequently promised things by politicians, but they have seen nearly every promise broken over the years. If the state wants to get serious about education then they need to put their money where their mouth is.

Also, for those who are worried about the state’s spending why don’t you look at how many duplicate and triplicate layers there are in some of the programs of interest. For instance, how many boards are needed to deal with transportation? ARC, DOT, …

Teacher Who Was Cut

September 28th, 2009
1:54 pm

First of all, teachers need to get over having a pay cut and be happy that they have a job. I lost my position because of the cuts even though the test scores of my children and my evaluations were great. I was cut because I lived in a different county than where I worked. Making the class size larger is not the answer. There is no way that the state can expect CRCT scores to go up with more children in the classroom. The state needs to find a way to cut money from somewhere besides education. Education is the key to success and by cutting teaching, the children are not going to do as well.

bake

September 28th, 2009
1:59 pm

Of course Oxendine is denouncing the cuts. He’s going to play the teachers just like Sonny did a few years back. And if he gets elected he’ll do the same and not give them a raise for the rest of his term. But hey teachers…instead of the $100 in Sonny money you’ll still get your $100 in Johnny Cash to spend on things you need for your classroom!!! GIVE ME A BREAK. Barnes may look like he’s wearing lipstick but at least he gives a hoot about education. If you have any sense you’ll keep Oxendine out of office or these cuts will continue to happen. How many days is Sonny going to furlough the teachers in the Spring of 2010? Sounds like another three days. Pathetic that we demoralize the educators. Maybe in a couple years we can get our test scores back down to where we are accustomed to being ranked…49th or 50th in the nation instead of the 47th that we’ve so boldly improved to under Sonny…

ThrashFanMax

September 28th, 2009
2:08 pm

I agree with restoring the cuts, furloughs, and salaries as well as all of the positions that were cut to meet the “budget crisis” created by Purdue and his political ineptness. Someone says do you want parks closed, no I want parks open, and charging a modest usage fee. Use inmates to clean and maintain them. Oh wait that creates jobs in corrections for people to supervise work details and makes the parks cleaner and safer. Then they say something about DFCS, another management heavy organization (I have some insight working as a cop for 10 years and having a mother that worked there for 34 years) that could use cuts in management and additions in staff to carry out the department’s mission. Oh wait fewer jobs for political cronies and fewer people for Purdue to bully about. Hmmm then a comment about the State Patrol. Well let’s see there are a minimum of 7-10 troopers hold up in Forsyth daily planning and holding training. Often working out and sitting at their desks. Headquarters is laden with capable officer holding down desks when they could be out on patrol. Oh but these are necessary functions, and believe me I have seen how they spend their money. Hmmm and then in this very paper we read articles about how short handed they are and budget strapped, and it comes from their very own Public Information Office. In the mean time the Troopers are handed extra income by providing security at the World Congress Center, GA Dome, Atlanta Motor Speedway, oh and even by law given the job of traveling with any college football coach that requests them. Which by the way is all of them and legally restricted to the State Patrol. Also you might ask why the group charged with protecting the Highways are always on scene at high profile crimes that they lack the training or the actual legal backing to investigate. Hmmm how is that for wasted money. That is addressed to BOB who thinks that cutting education and raising taxes in smart. Go ahead and run the more qualified teachers off to other states willing to pay them. You want to know where to get some of the cuts BOB, here you go. First Purdue has a henchman working under him making six figures, tell him good bye and let Purdue do his own dirty work. Second reduce the size of upper management in all agencies. You will not find one that is not top heavy and in many cases overpaid. Third, make teacher and public safety pay off limits to cuts, as well as the University system, especially when pork projects could be cut and that money saved. Fourth, review all state contracts and eliminate those that do not make sense (for example an office supply contract that forces agencies to pay more for things that they could buy cheaper at Wal-mart). Fifth, accurately report tax revenues every month and stop under-reporting as has occured in the past. Sixth, you want more income give people more to spend, if you reduce or eliminate the state income tax, the sales tax increase will bring in more money than the income tax. This is over-simplifying but it works. Seventh, higher a consultant to assess more clearly how funding can be re-assigned and better used to cover the most important program and expenses. Eighth, reduce the cost of health care insurance for state workers by removing PeachCare from the same program that covers state workers. Ninth, instead of fixing old worn out vehicles purchase new ones with warranties, and instead of retiring patrol cars with 125k miles use them up to 150k. Also if you are worried about the safety of these cars and want to improve employment, hire qualified individuals to fix them and not rely upon inmates to repair Trooper and State Officer vehicles. Close the junkyard behind headquarters. Hmmm and maybe buy cheaper vehicles as well, why do department heads need Crown Vics, Suburbans, Chargers, or SUVs? Tenth and finally (although not all of the ways I know of) reduce the upper echelons of the education system, require Superintendants to be educators and not just politicians, and use 90% of the money for education to directly impact students, and not to finance the pockets of office staff. JLCG you too have hit on something that really picks my craw. State employees are always overlooked even in years when money is available. If many of the cost cutting measures mentioned about where in place, then everyone would be able to get the raise because there would be more money coming into the state accounts. Here is something else to ponder, HOPE helps students a great deal, but the state refuses to slow the rising cost of education by eliminating waste at the University and the Admin levels so those people (college students part time or no time jobs) must come up with the extra money for school. They will go where more of it is paid for or it is cheaper. HUSBAND OF TEACHER, while I do not approve of calling all republicans pieces of crap (as I do like many of their ideas, and shamefully admit voting for this one once) you are absolutely correct. He is too busy traveling the country and world to actually run this state.

CAM you are absolutely correct. STU you are also correct, you will note no one in his office is being furloughed and he has enough spokespeople and assistants for five state heads. He simply can not do it himself. LULU you are preaching to the choir. I was a first year teacher last year and did not get a new contract because of budget cuts, although I had an exceptional yearly review. Teachers are leaving the profession because of the now uncertainty of the profession. WHY TEACH, I hope that I read the sarcasm as intended. In my community parents can not even watch their kids after school, all day trying to figure out what to do would just be too much. Someone said sperm and egg donors, and that is what some are, baby factories who lack any responsibility. DEEPDIVER you too are correct, that is why struggling schools have such a hard time getting back up to par. Why go to a bad school and teach with no chance of reward, other than if it is title one perhaps they will forgive the 100k in student loans you had to take out to get your 4 year, 6 year, 8 year, and PhD.

I am a grad student with a family, an unemployed teacher at the moment, and trying to figure out what to do and how anyone who claims to have any sense could possibly believe that Purdue has a clue. Failed at raising education standards. Failed at delivering Mercedes to Savannah after spending millions to clear and prep the property. Failed to lower taxes or abolish state income and ad valorem taxes. Failed to hold property taxes down for struggling homeowners. Failed to assist struggling homeowners to stay in their homes with tax credit or buyer credits, but says it is ok to tax your tax refund because you over paid the Feds. Failed to unite the state or improve transportatiion or highway infrastructure. Failed to work with new President (who I do not support but see the value of working with not offending) in getting as much stimulus money as possible for Georgia. Face it, like it or not the money is going out, we need to get as much as we possibly can to help our state.

Now BOB any more questions? I could save the state billions within a few weeks, but hey I do not work for the budget office, I am just an ignorant teacher with three Bachelor’s degrees and working on a PhD.

Red Faced!

September 28th, 2009
2:12 pm

I have not checked the accuracy but it seems to me if we are spending 51% of our budget in this state on education we should be alot higher in the national rankings than 3rd or 4th from the bottom. I do have to say the teachers got what they voted for however. When this state wakes up and sees the damage they are doing, maybe, we will get it right in the voting booth and keep this state from further embarrassment!

pd

September 28th, 2009
2:19 pm

“If we don’t cut education a little, we have to cut other things a lot”

I am sure that we waste a lot of money that could be cut. But cutting spending is only half of the equation, we could also raise taxes

Red Faced!

September 28th, 2009
2:25 pm

pd, I have to agree with you. If it comes down to it, education is way too important! If I have to pay higher taxes to get my children an education that will allow them to compete in the global economy, raise my taxes. At least the kids will have a fighting chance in the world.

RUKidding

September 28th, 2009
2:25 pm

Yet another group that Ox is pandering too. How much will it cost to fund this, all the transportation, water and other promises that he has made. The Sales tax will be 30% if he does everything that he has promised.

Ox will say anything to any group to get elected.

A frustrated National Board Certified Teacher

September 28th, 2009
2:30 pm

Thank goodness someone seems to be getting the picture. Now, if they will only make good on these items the state would have many more teachers working harder toward achievements with better teacher morale. Time will tell.
The candidates need to also address the fact that many National Board Certified Teachers have never seen one dime of this promised pay increase … not even the reduced amount! Many of us began the process while being promised the 10% raise, spent a lot of time and money to earn this prestigious achievement, and completed it after the bonus was taken away. That is certainly not fair at all. At the same time, many of us work very hard in Title I schools that consistently make AYP and are denied this money because our schools MAKE AYP! Really!
Just for the record, I have four degrees (Bachelors, two Masters, and an Education Specialist), plus ESOL Certification and am a Teacher Support Specialist (no longer paid for either), and I can assure you that earning National Board Certification status was far more difficult than any of these achievements. It is absolutely appauling that I am not being paid for this! The state keeps on making promises for achievements, then once teachers achieve them, the money is taken away! This would never happen in the corporate setting.

Turker Slayer

September 28th, 2009
2:30 pm

Here’s a novel idea: John, why don’t you do the job that you are being paid to do (insurance commissioner) and leave the budget to the current Govenor. There are alot of people needing help out in Douglas County. Oh wait, You must be a racist since the current Govenor is white and you disagree with his decision.

BPJ

September 28th, 2009
2:43 pm

Did anyone notice this comment, at 2:08pm? “Seventh, higher a consultant to assess more clearly how funding can be re-assigned and better used to cover the most important program and expenses.” Would that be “hire” a consultant? As for the idea itself, I can just imagine the reaction if a candidate proposed hiring more consultants to improve education……as if that hasn’t been tried before.

I wonder whether any teachers will be taken in by Oxendine’s words. They fell for it last time, with Perdue, but to fall for that trick again would be like Charlie Brown believing that THIS TIME Lucy really is going to hold the football still. Republicans, once elected, will cut spending on education, because that is what they do. That is who they are. “Gubmint is bad”, they believe, and always has to be cut, and that includes public school teachers.

ThrashFanMax

September 28th, 2009
2:58 pm

BPJ…I can at least refer to the person I am referencing by name….not just a time. But since you want to Republican bash let’s move on. Fire the non-essentials and have someone who is smart enough to prioritize spending do so. The ignorance of a blanket remark like “Republicans, once elected, will cut spending on education.” Well okay then Democrats, when elected, will raise taxes and raise spending on government programs that become the crutch of the uneducated and the lazy. If we want to really exchange ignorant remarks. I mean look at what the Dems are doing in Washington now. The middle class will end up shouldering the weight of all those programs. Here is a thought cut welfare to able bodied workers who are baby factories and refuse to get educated or work, or prefer to steal and wait on a handout, then use that money for education. Oh wait that is ignorant on my part as well….oh maybe I am a racist because of that….wait that can not be it either. It is funny that when someone advocates for smart spending, open government, and sensible reviews of spending that you have to use partisan toe the line ignorance to combat COMMON FREAKING SENSE. Hmmm how about this, government by the people for the people. Hmmm what about an oxymoron like an honest politician?? Problem….candidates do not understand the scope or limits to what they can do alone, therefore, they over promise and under deliver. BPJ get a grip and drop the political BS, “Gubmint” is not bad or evil, but government that is unchecked and unquestioned has no direction. IF the people running education were responsible with funding then we would not even be having this discussion.

oldtimer

September 28th, 2009
3:19 pm

Actually, many teachers in this state are no eligable for Social Security, and those that are will receive less because WE have paid into a pension.

three jack

September 28th, 2009
3:23 pm

Another in a long list of reasons to oppose the Ox. What a pandering putz! GA teachers are already over paid yet we still have the worst schools in the country. Instead of maintaining these ridiculous bonus checks, there should be a move to cut pay immediately in under performing districts…never happen, but one can dream!

oldtimer

September 28th, 2009
3:25 pm

Also, Mr. Barnes destroyed teacher morale and treated us with no respect! He will not be different the second time. I would never vote for him. The main goverrnor who did not break promises to teachers was Zell Miller!!

nita

September 28th, 2009
3:33 pm

Way to go Oxendine. Don’t fall for this crap teachers. He’s the reason why insurance in Georgia is out of whack. He panders to the special interest and like most politicians, will lie to get ahead. I don’t trust him one bit and neither should our fine teachers.

la

September 28th, 2009
3:37 pm

The teachers are being mistreated and taxed for the sake of the entire state. By giving us three furlough days already on top of a pay cut in our county, my husband and I are looking at between 600 and 800 a month out of pocket. This hurts not only us but the kids that benefit from all of the things I buy for our classroom out of pocket(books, lab materials, treats, school supplies, etc) Teachers are burning out a rapid pace because they feel that no one thinks their job is important. It is sad to read the paper and see so many bad teachers out there, whether it is a cheating scandal or buying prostitutes. I hope people do realize there are still those teachers out there who truly love kids and their material and work tirelessly to teach YOUR CHILDREN. They will keep doing it in spite of the lack of support, whether monetarily or otherwise.

Nick

September 28th, 2009
3:42 pm

If we have to cut teacher’s pay to avoid a tax increase, then I say increase taxes. Additionally, we can cut education expenses without directly hitting teachers. We need to reduce the number of administrators in county education offices first. These people should be the ones taking the brunt of the cuts and furloughs – the front line teachers should be last. Of course, if we’re shooting to be number 50 in test scores this year, our governor has definitely picked the right strategy.

Wondering

September 28th, 2009
4:25 pm

I’m one of the ‘other’ group who has national certification from their national professional organization who would really like to be treated as if I were equal to teachers. But that is not the question I would like to raise.

I have heard that Purdue took Federal stimulus money meant for education and gave it to the DOT… roads/highways, one of his pet projects. Does anyone know if this is true?

I’m also wondering how a BOE can give employees who are paid from local funds (not state funded salaries) furlough days and then turn around an LOWER the millege rate! That is so inconsistent! On the one hand to say to employees we can’t afford to pay you so we will furlough you x amount of days; and on the other hand to say to homeowners, we don’t need as much money this year as we did last year. Huh???? Has this happened in any other system?

budman

September 28th, 2009
4:39 pm

Teachers have been political pawns since that dude that rode the bicycle backwards, they will promise you anything just to get a vote… then”so sorry” no money!!!

bill mcniff

September 28th, 2009
4:39 pm

If public school teachers don’t like their jobs they can go to work for a charter school. Then they will know what it is like to be in the private sector and subject to big government.

Matt and Jack's Mom

September 28th, 2009
5:12 pm

Mr. McNiff, for your information, charter schools are public schools. The difference is that they do not have to comply with many of the regulations that traditional public schools must meet. I hope this information is helpful to you.

As for John Oxendine, he’ll say anything to get elected. Remember he’s the same idiot that wants to build an interstate through East Atlanta.

Amy

September 28th, 2009
5:18 pm

To the person who pointed out that education is 51% of the state budget, can you give a reason why it should NOT be??? The federal government gave the states the right to design and pay for education (NCLB is not a funded mandate either,) and what could possibly be more important than educating our young citizens to eventually become productive citizens???

Dussqe

September 28th, 2009
5:29 pm

The schools in this state are rife with illegal maggots and teachers much too under-qualified to be trusted with young, malleable minds. Georgia schools are in the bottom percentile in this NATION. Do some fact checking. The teachers in this state rate some of the poorest in thw world. They are angry they don’t get pay raises during an economic collapse?

I went to schools here and I must insist that teachers here in this ugly, corrupt hamlet you call GA are not worth ANY money, let alone a pay raise. I would never allow my child to attend ANY school in this rotten state.

Gateach

September 28th, 2009
5:50 pm

Dussqe…watch out… your ignorance is showing (Moron)

TeachGA

September 28th, 2009
7:08 pm

Dussqe….why don’t you get your teaching degree and teach if you are so awesome? Who are you to say anything?!

Dussqe

September 28th, 2009
8:05 pm

An American with eyes and ears. Coincidentally, an educated one as well.

TechGuy

September 28th, 2009
8:31 pm

How about getting rid of GTA and the GAIT2010 project that is osting the state twice what it was paying for IT in the past.

Deepdiver

September 28th, 2009
8:53 pm

I love how politicians and more specifically schmucks on the right ignore the main part of the problem with educating children in the U.S. Parents are doing their damn job, but want to blame teachers and schools. When they don’t teach kids self-discipline and study skills and impart the importance of education being more important than damn American Idol or I-Phones, what do they expect the average test score will be? Of course politicians will never address the fact that parents are the main problem, since parents would be upset and whine if politicians ever pointed the finger back in the their faces instead of blaming the strawman of schools, teachers, government beauracracy, and teachers unions.

Lynn

September 28th, 2009
9:02 pm

Enter your comments here
Sonny forgot a long time ago who elected him to serve our great state. Sorry to say I’m one of those who voted for him – not once but twice. I regret both of those votes.

FrancesNBCT

September 28th, 2009
9:04 pm

I agree that another Republican can’t be trusted. Sonny has not fully funded education since teachers (not me) elected him. He gave out that “Sonny Money” like it came from his own pocket. He thought that $100.00 would actually make a difference in our classrooms. I have several advanced degrees and getting my National Board Certification was the hardest of all. My husband and I both work for the State and together our furlough days, combined with my not receiving my National Board money, results in our income being $1000.00 less per month. That is quiet a hit. My system is not paying a dime of the 10% we were promised when we became NBCT because Sonny doesn’t send the money until July and they don’t believe he will actually send one penny. What does that say about Sonny? He is a fat, arrogant hick who doesn’t have a clue how to run the State. Why you people ever elected him I don’t know. As I have said my whole teaching career (25 years) where you spend your money is where your values are. We don’t value the mentally ill or the poor any more that we do education. It’s had to believe that we live in the Bible belt when you look at where we spend our money. DFCS and Mental Health are always are the bottom of the barrel. Hell, we rather have good roads to drive on that make sure our children are well educated and protected. As we treat the least of these my brothers….

Tiger, GA

September 28th, 2009
9:26 pm

The “ox” is trying to be all things to all people and will say anything to get elected. Of course he doesn’t care about teachers losing money. His pay check is the same and he isn’t hurting. He is too busy off traveling the globe and country etc. to do his job. I hope he isn’t elected as governor of this state. Christ, Brother Sonny has been embarrasing enough.

Dawgtime

September 28th, 2009
9:37 pm

Okay, we can give millions in aid to Africa which does nothing for us other than harbor terrorists and burn Old Glory. We can spend 30 million dollars in New Mexico to replace toilets in government buildings as part of the stimulus plan. I wonder what offical has a plumbing company in New Mexico. We can send millions to the Middle East so that certain people who hate us are treated better with more benefits. With all that said, we are cutting from the future of our society which is called education. We expect teachers to do more with less which is crazy. Teachers are doing great jobs in the face of reality. We have a generation of children that are apathetic brats that have a sense of entitlement. More students could care less about learning or a productive future because it’s more benefical to do nothing. Great job government. You have totally failed us. I’m waiting to read about politicians being furloughed, but we know that will never happen because that makes sense.

Leslie

September 28th, 2009
9:39 pm

Enter your comments here
It is time for teachers to stop whinning. While teachers over numerous years have gotten their state raise (any many a county supplement), other state employees have gone without raises or received a 2% raise. State employees further have been subjected to additional insurance premium cost. I understand why teachers like Zell Miller because he gave teachers a 6% raise for four years in a row while other state employees received 0 to 2 percent during those years. Many state employees furlough this past fiscal year while teachers did not. So they already lost over 6 percent in their salaries. While many of these employee were furloughed they continued to do their jobs, work after hours (to only receive comp time) and use their own vehicles to conduct home visits (oh yes they get mileage but it does not pay for all the wear and tear on their vehicles. Further many of these employees are required to be on call.

As for the 10% annual raise for the national board certification, it should be reduced. In other areas of the state employment, employees only receive a 5% one time raise. I do not understand why this state would not pay for only a one time raise. In an article today in the ajc it reported a teacher with a bachelors degree starting salary was 47,000. Isn’t it amazing that a DFCS worker with a bachelors degree has a starting salary of approximately $28,000. Something is just not right about that.

During this budget crunch all arms of state government are having to make sacrifices. Education is important but should not be at the cost that averages citizens cannot pay their home property taxes because the cost of education has become unreasonable.

So stop whinning, teach the children, and if many is not what makes you teach, then you find a way to moost your morale and teach without any of this having an impact on the education of children.

ScienceTeacher671

September 29th, 2009
6:23 am

According to the Georgia constitution, public education is “a primary obligation” of the state. As a primary obligation, one would think it should be a major portion of the budget.

ThrashFanMax

September 29th, 2009
7:03 am

LESLIE, much as you point the finger at teachers and say live with it, so should the social workers. My mother worked for DFCS for 34 years during times when they got two pay raises a year, and were paid mileage for home visits. She also worked there after pay raises where minimized and home visits for her job ended. Same rules apply though, if they do not want to work in child welfare then let them go elsewhere, they knew the pay and rules when they agreed to the job. Now if the IGNORANT argument could stop, and we review. PROPER MANAGEMENT OF STATE FUNDS WOULD ALLOW FOR EVERYONE IN STATE GOVERNMENT AND EDUCATION TO GET ADEQUATE PAY RAISES AND AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE. DUH. Oh and by the way I strapped on a gun and worked to protect the highways of this state from drug runners and drunks for 10 years with only a total of 6% in pay raises and excellent evaluations over that time. What the hell have you done LESLIE??? Oh wait you are an angry social worker, instead of telling groups they should not complain and you doing the same thing, come up with a coherent argument that is not voter block mumbo jumbo. Like I advocate that all state workers are underpaid and the 5 levels of management are the problem. DUH again. Of course if welfare were not a handout then we would not need all the social workers, but then putting able bodied people to work would not win voters for the Democrats would it, oh wait ignorant argument on my part. Cutting off baby factories and putting them to work, oh wait common sense. Welfare (child welfare, protective services) should be a law enforcement function with some teeth anyway, you go to investigate and have to take the police. Let’s do it right if we are going to do it, and cut out the handouts….again a ignorant argument on my part. Oh and go ahead and call me racist, but you have no idea what color I am. Helping people is different than shackling them with a program that makes them lazy and stupid, damn another ignorant point. Off of welfare and back to teachers, we purchase supplies for kids whose parents lay in bed making the babies and then do not provide for them. Even with free stuff given out in many areas. Plus we have to monitor our copy use or buy our own paper. Pencils, pens, calculators, notebooks, and not to mention supplies for teaching because of NCLB that is unfunded. Hmm and we have to dress appropriately so no jeans and t-shirts we must buy business clothes just like everyone else. Oh and we were furloughed three days, some more and if you want to say we were not then check our pay. While the Sonny Money for classrooms was minimum, a lot could be done with $100 when things are on sale. LESLIE do not be the hypocrite that you have shown yourself as, if citizens would work with educators and state employees would take some pride in their work, none of us would be so hated.

Dussqe

September 29th, 2009
2:33 pm

you teachers DO need to just stfu and live with the bed you made. No put-out, no caching in your pocket. Work or get the hell on with your sickening selves. Teachers…ha more like desk clerks watching the clock. I say cut ALL your funding.

ThrashFanMax

September 29th, 2009
5:45 pm

DUSSQE thanks for airing your ignorance for everyone. Enough said.

K-12 National Board Certified Teacher

September 29th, 2009
9:57 pm

I am a hard working National Board Certified Teacher. I work longer every day than many people in my school – usually 10 hours at school then a couple more at home. I have been furloughed three days so far for this school year along with all the teachers in this state because the state does not have the funds to pay its teachers. By the skin of my teeth, I will receive my hard-earned stipend for National Board Certification again this year but it will be reevaluated EVERY YEAR. I worked harder for that than I did on my masters, and I worked very hard on that with a resulting 4.0.

When I heard about the hundreds of thousands in “Golden Parachutes” going to all the University System of Georgia college presidents in BONUSES it made me sick.* This supports lavish lifestyles while stealing necessities from the general public. It reminds me of Marie Antoinette’s reference to the poor while living in her lavish Versailles in France…”Let them eat cake!” Good grief! ( If you’ve never seen it, there is resemblance to the ridiculous palaces of the middle east.)

You have the responsibility not to gorge our treasury with this pork barrel while TAKING AWAY FROM THE TEACHERS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EDUCATION AND WELFARE OF OUR YOUTH! You will lose a great work force if you abuse it continually. YES, TIMES ARE HARD. DON’T MAKE THEM HARDER BY SIPHONING OFF FUNDS NEEDED FOR THE EDUCATION OF OUR STATE WHICH IS ALREADY STRUGGLING AMONG THE LOWER RANKING STATES IN EDUCATION!

BE ACCOUNTABLE!
Deferred Compensations not disclosed appropriately to taxapayers and Foundation donors:
* David Bell, Macon State – $600,000 in January 2010 ($400,000 from Foundation funds!)
Wayne Clough, former Georgia Tech President – $804,000
Carl Patton, Georgia State (being confirmed)
Daniel Rahn, Medical College of Georgia (being confirmed)
Michael Adams, UGA (being confirmed)
Ronald Zaccari, Valdosta State University (being confirmed)
Chancellor Tom Meredith (being confirmed)
Chanellor Erroll B. Davis (being confirmed)
others – to be confirmed and disclosed

Many Georgia Taxpayers

September 29th, 2009
10:13 pm

Are you aware that University System of Georgia Presidents and chancellors receive undisclosed “Golden Parachute” bonuses (called deferred presidential compensation packages) while K-12 public teachers and USG faculty and staff are mandated furloughs and students and parents are faced with student fee increases?

Governor Perdue’s August 10, 2009 response (in part) stated:

“I understand your concerns about what you perceive to be unnecessary expenditures in these difficult budget times. I must tell you, however, that Georgia’s Constitution reserves to the Board of Regents the exclusive authority to make such decisions. See Ga. Const. Art. 8, Sec. 3, Para. 1(c). For that reason, I encourage you to share your concerns with the Board of Regents.”

In other words, Governor Perdue is stating that the Board of Regents has “exclusive authority” to do what they please with state and foundation funds of the colleges as it is out of his jurisdiction!

Perhaps if there was some accountability by the Board of Regents to someone besides themselves the money (estimated now to be in the milliions – and being confirmed through Open Records) the BOR is using to line the pockets of the USG presidents and the chancellors (they already have major salaries, supplements and free reign to Foundation funds for limos, alcohol, country club memberships, to name a few) could be redirected back to the public teachers – where it is needed and earned! For now, Oxendine seems to be the only candidate actually listening to the USG faculty, staff, Foundation donors, K-12 teachers and Georgia taxpayers. The Governor and Legislators certainly are not!

K-12 National Board Certified Teacher

September 29th, 2009
10:21 pm

I am gravely disappointed to be informed that I will indeed not be receiving my hard-earned National Board Certification for Teachers salary this year, even though it was passed in the Legislature. So far, my salary is being cut by 13%, and I understand more cuts are forthcoming.

Teachers are working harder than ever with classes that are too crowded. Classrooms are filled with more children than they were built to hold. Tensions rise when people don’t have enough space to move in. Illness will be on the rise with not enough percentage of air to breathe. We already have more cases of H1N1 flu. I am personally in the process of purchasing a total air purifier for my music classroom so that my students and I can live in cleaner air all year. That is an expense of several hundred dollars plus with the purchase of filter modules that have to be replaced annually. I teach everyone in the school. I am doing this for the health of all.

All of this makes me even madder over the hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses being loaded into the coffers of college presidents and chancellors (now confirmed to be in the millions!) to support their vacation homes, travel (not necessarily professional) and in whatever other ways they choose to be extravagant. When I go to any professional meetings, all but $100 of that comes out of my pocket. At the Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference in Savannah each year I am also prone to spend another $300-400 on instruments and educational supplies for my 680 students to extend their learning in my music classes. I see things they need and I get them, even when it makes things financially tight for me.

I am positive there are many pork barrel funds oozing out of our state treasury that are taking away from our public school children and their teachers, the backbone of building this young citizenry. I am devastated to have worked so hard and spent so much of my own money in the process, only to have the monetary rewards taken away. I will only rest my case when the due is paid.

Husband of Teacher

September 30th, 2009
11:46 am

Wow, Dussqe, you are an idiot. So the teachers that go the extra mile and get more than they are required to shouldn’t be rewarded for that. Hopefully God has made it so you would not be able to procreate(that is have children since you seem uneducated I thought I would help you out)and you don’t have to worry about the education system anymore, because the way it is heading, there won’t be anyone who will want to be a teacher in GA anymore. Teaching starts at home and unfortunately, where we have most of our problems in GA, homelife sucks and those kids don’t want to learn, so yeah, teaching becomes clock watching in those schools…it is a shame.

Dussqe

September 30th, 2009
1:50 pm

No you teachers shouldn’t be rewarded for doing the job you do, you should only be rewarded when you excel, the teachers in this state are some of the worst in the world. By your own admission, you are exactly what I accuse, so apparently YOU SIR are the idiot and just go to further my point. Teachers in Georgia are garbage.

Husband of Teacher

September 30th, 2009
4:27 pm

Dussqe you obviously don’t know how to comprehend since my name on here is HUSBAND OF TEACHER. Meaning my wife is a teacher, so I am not a teacher. How does one actually excel? By the grades they themselves give the kids??? How can they be judged based on that, they would give all kids undeserving A’s. Let’s face it. It is people like you that are the problem. If you do have children, I am sure you give them every excuse in the world if they are no excelling at school instead of pushing them. Teachers who further their education should be rewarded for their efforts. I lost my wife for a good six months while she passionately pursued her National Board Ceritification. The time and effort she had to put into that so she further her knowledge is something that should be rewarded. You sir have no clue what you are talking about which qualifies you as the idiot. And I will assume you are neither mexican or white since those were the two races you insulted in your ignorant tirade….IDIOT.

Dussqe

September 30th, 2009
9:09 pm

Same difference.

Deepdiver

October 1st, 2009
8:37 am

Dussqe,

You think that the worst teachers in the world are in Georgia? What about having the worst kids in the world to teach and no support from lazy parents? Hopefully you are not one of the lazy parents who blame the teachers when you buy your kids crappy and expensive video games and not make them do their homework and complain about teachers when scores are low.

ThrashFanMax

October 1st, 2009
6:18 pm

Clearly Dussqe is incapable of producing a legitimate argument to support his case. Just calls names and makes more ignorant rhetoric. Parent now want teachers to raise their kids, and he believes that all teachers are the same. You know he probably thinks all blacks, women, hispanics, whites, and others are the same as well. Ignorance knows no boundaries.

Prof

October 2nd, 2009
11:41 am

Husband of Teacher: As a college professor whose already small raise has disappeared for two years running and whose pay has been cut on top of that as well, I know how frustrating the continual cuts are and how demoralizing they can be. It’s tough to realize that working 80+ hours per week in the education sector nets many of us less annual pay than a senior manager at a convenience store. I will say, though, that I didn’t get into education for the pay. I teach because, despite how exhausting it can sometimes be, I love it, and I believe that teachers at their best can make a positive difference in students’ lives. I teach because I believe we can help students become informed, intelligent, engaged citizens of the world, and in doing so, we can benefit our communities, our state, and our country. After reading your posts above, I suspect your wife may have similar motivations. The situation is wretched, but please offer her my heartfelt thanks for all her efforts to become a better teacher and to pass the benefits of her efforts on to her students. I know you can’t bank thanks, but I am truly grateful for those dedicated teachers who continually work to improve their own skills so they can better prepare students to succeed in the workforce and college.

Katie

October 2nd, 2009
11:52 am

Prof,
As a fellow teacher, I say God bless you for your efforts and your dedication to the most important profession. However, I am saddened to hear you say what so many other teachers say: “I didn’t get into education for the pay.” My question: why shouldn’t you have? Why do dedication and love for students, and a living wage seem to be mutually exclusive in this country? It’s the teachers who should be making millions–not the CEO’s and professional athletes. The bottom line is that we don’t value our kids because they don’t contribute to the economic bottom line. And so, in many cases, we get what we pay for when it comes to excellent teachers. Teachers who are willing to do what it takes, despite the poverty wage, are rare. And I foresee them becoming almost extinct in this state if the legislators don’t quit screwing us. I know that is an ugly word, but it’s the only one I can think of that fits. Sorry for its nastiness.

countryteacher

October 4th, 2009
9:34 pm

I am a teacher of 16 years and usually do not make comments on subjects that I read. However, this case I am going to be heard. First of all Dussqe, you have no earthly idea what you are talking about and you obviously have had a bad experience with someone, somewhere. I would like to know how much teaching experience you have, how long it takes for you to do your lesson plans, how many nights you stay up making activities that will engaged students rather than a video game and last but not least how many times a day you tell a child that “he can do it”. Obviously, you lack some experience. You are so WRONG! Now, on to another subject, National Board Certif, this is just a way to get the teacher to pay out BIG money to jump through hoops. I started the process and then realized that it was going to take way to much time to jump through the ring of fire. Why? nope, not because I’m lazy and Nope, not because I didn’t think I couldn’t do it. Just the opposite, I saw some of the laziest teachers, get approved for National Board Certified and realized my time could be spent more effectively teaching my students. I have very high marks on the CRCT and I always have great evaluations. So….. to say the very top get the National Board Certi., is simply not true. Yes, the furloughs have hurt, I spent over $1700 of my own personal money in my classroom last year. I get to work at 7:30 (after dropping off my own child) and leave most days around 5 p.m. To say the top need that extra pay is ridiculous, they do nothing the others do. Personally, I am all for the cut in the NCB teachers, simply because, they are NOT THE TOP TEACHERS. Some of you will say I am jealous, or wish I was them, but you couldn’t be farther from the truth. I am very happy with my life and live within my means. Do teachers need their money? We have to live to. I want to know how many hours a day parents can take to teach their child to read and make a living. IT WOULD BE PRETTY HARD! First they have to acknowledge letters , then letters make sounds, then put those letters together to make a word, then put the word together in context to make sense. Oh yes, I forgot about the writing part, they have to know that to get a job. It would be hard to get one, if they didn’t write. SILLY ME! I guess as a teacher, I should just forget about feeding my own children and just do it for free. YOU WILLING TO DO THE SAME IN YOUR JOB???

howrd

October 6th, 2009
7:52 am

Oxendine has gained my respect by this stand for Georgia’s national board certified teachers.

MikeeO

October 6th, 2009
4:02 pm

Why don’t we take a look at cutting Sonny’s pet Georgia Master Teacher program. Compare the rigor of the National Board process to Georgia’s homegrown “Master” teacher program and then ask why we are putting money into the lightweight program. Truth is that Sonny has done everything in his power to erase his predecessor’s programs. This vindictive, partisan baloney serves Georgians very poorly and is just one of the reasons we rank at the bottom of the heap educationally.

Teachers know that it is all about the kids and being the best teacher you can be so that the kids have the best opportunities to learn. We also know that when budgets are tight, we have to take our share of the cuts. But when the ax falls because of political motives – motives that are clearly known and acknowledged down under the golden dome, it makes the Georgia assembly look like a bunch of “good old boys” and makes teachers feel that it isn’t worthwhile to pursue additional professional development in search of improving their teaching skills.