The Raise Conundrum
Posted March 2, 2016 12:00 AM by Jimmy Stokes
Governor Nathan Deal promised the teachers and educators of Georgia a 3% raise in his State of the State address on January 13 but the mechanics of that raise now present a real conundrum, especially for superintendents. It appears that the 3% raise is to be financed with the $300 Million reduction in the austerity cut. Realistically that means that systems will be given more money, money they earn with FTE, but there will be no specific line for teacher pay raises and thus no change in the state teacher pay scale. To complicate matters further the FY 2017 budget which is now being considered by the Senate contains provisions added by the House which identifies specific line item funds to fund a 3% raise for Agriculture teachers, technical and career education teachers, nurses, lunchroom workers, RESA personnel, and bus drivers. The political connection of those groups to the budgeting process is puzzling. What makes this really difficult to sort out is how are superintendents going to give their employees a 3% raise when the reduction in austerity cuts may be just enough to eliminate furlough days? Add to that this while it appears this money should be there next year, there is no guarantee and thus no legislative adoption of a revised teacher pay scale. The pressure really falls on the smaller school system superintendents who have less financial wiggle room. Do you give all of your employees a 3% bonus, a 3% supplement for next year that may not be renewed, and most importantly, if the House version stands how can you give some teachers raises and not others. Many of these questions will be answered when the House and Senate agree on a budget that is signed by the Governor but in the meantime all we can do is wait.
Topics: Teacher Salaries