DeKalb Teachers Get a 2.5% Raise And Start Stepping

DeKalb teachers will get a raise and start stepping.


Teacher Salary Schedule
Phase 1 Teacher salary schedule 2018-2019
Phase II (DRAFT) -DCSD Teacher Pay Schedule 2018-2019
Phase 1 – July 1, 2018 – 2.5% across the board pay raise.
Teachers, Counselors, Social Workers, Psychologists, Librarians/Media Specialists, OT/PT/ST.
$17,170,646.00 for Phase 1-with benefits included
Classified staff to include the following: Bus Drivers, Custodians, Food Service Workers, Nurses, Bus Monitors, Paraprofessionals/Teacher Aides, Bookkeepers in the school, Campus Supervisors, Secretaries in the schools, Clerks in the schools, Interpreters in the school, Information Technology Technicians at the school, Registrars, Receptionists at the school, Liaisons at the school, Administrative Assistants at the school, School Healthcare Workers.
Phase 2 – January 2019 – approximately $6.2M
Implement the NEW Step Structures for Teachers, Counselors, OT/PT/ST and Classified Staff positions (those positions listed above) as well as the Classified Staff at the District Office –not school-based
Note: Phase II salary structure has not been approved by the board yet.
Phase 2a – January 2019 – 2.5% raise across the board – approximately $250K
Chiefs, Deputy Superintendent, Regional Superintendents, Associate Superintendent, Executive Directors, Directors, Principals, Assistant Principals and all other District Office Staff – not school-based.
$6,479,732.00 for Phase 2/2a

60 responses to “DeKalb Teachers Get a 2.5% Raise And Start Stepping

  1. When do substitute teachers get a raise? All the school systems close to DeKalb pay a good bit more. There may be a lot of subs on the “list,” but there are times when it is very difficult to get enough subs for the teachers who are absent.

  2. What about the APs? Many of them in the past have been promoted from a teaching position and have thusly missed any pay increases. Yes, they made more with a promotion, but they also work longer (11 months) and are required to attend after-school hours activities

  3. Stan,
    What did the district use to determine this raise plan? Was a classification/salary study done recently and if so, where are the results? Years ago, one was done and it showed many positions had vague job descriptions, there were jobs that could be combined due to duplicity, the salaries were way out of line with the business world for the same skill levels, etc. When the superintendent tried to right the situation, he was canned. The central office has been blossoming again for the last several years under Thurmond and Green. Clearly, DCSD needs to do more for teachers, counselors, nurses, bus drivers, psychologists…but the central office staff, unless something has changed, is highly paid and appears their salaries are still getting bumped up each time any other group gets a raise.
    The tax payers need to see the salaries in comparison to the going rates for the work world and an audit would be required to get an objective view.

  4. DSW2Contributor

    June 19, 2018 AJC article “DeKalb pays teachers less in replacement for former annuity”:
    2% contribution into the 403b plus the 2.5% raise is still less than the 6% the district should be contributing into the Tax Sheltered Annunity.

  5. Dr. Bernice Gregory, DeKalb Schools Chief HCM

    sent via email
    We are revamping our website to include more information. The link to the salary schedule will be available on Tuesday. The plan is for the teachers to start being emplaced on steps each year.
    I have attached the current salary scale that has been board approved to begin now, in phase 1, with the 2.5% raise. Just a reiteration, phase 1 includes a 2.5 % raise for the teachers, counselors , OT, PT, SLP and all school based personnel, so the 2.5 % raise is in the attached scale. This is the pay scale that has already been board approved.
    The other scale that I sent, will have to be board approved ,and is in Phase II. I have labeled the scales as Phase 1 and Phase II, so hopefully, this will help with clarity.

  6. Substitute Teachers – I’m not sure if this includes substitute teachers.
    Comp & Class Study – These salary adjustments are a direct result of a Comparison and Classification (Comp & Class) study completed recently. The study collected all kinds of data. I’m working on getting the data I would like to see.

  7. Why in the world didn’t Dr. Gregory put a DRAFT heading or watermark on the Phase II chart?
    Isn’t that just basic good practice?
    A very poor rookie mistake that will undoubtedly cause lots of concern.

  8. DeKalb Teacher

    Scale 1 that is posted here is the same scale we had last year. There has been no increase by 2.5 %. Our pay has not changed as of this last paycheck. As a matter of fact it stayed the same. Can you clarify this for us please. How can they make a critical mistake like this and why has no other employ stepped up to challenge this? Thank you for all that you do.

  9. For the second year, raises for school-based staff go into effect six months earlier than those for non-school-based staff. So much for “One DeKalb.”

  10. Stan Jester

    Salary Schedules – They look different to me.
    2017–2018 Teacher Salary Schedule
    2018–2019 Teacher Salary Schedule

  11. DeKalb Teacher

    You brought up the salary schedule for August and September 2017, not the new one they put up for October 2017 when we actually got the 2 % raise adjustment last year. The Salary schedule they just took down in June was put in to place in October 2017 and carried through the reminder of the year. It is the same salary schedule we just finished the school year on. Look at your dates at the top of the salary schedule and you will see what I mean. Can you find the one they just took down and compare it to the current Phase 1? Thank you.

  12. dekalbteacher

    This makes no sense to me.
    The salary schedule that went into effect in February, 2017 has a teacher with a bachelor’s degree and 3, 4, or 5 years of experience making $46,650.66 and a teacher with a master’s degree and 3, 4, or 5 years of experience making $49,446.80.
    This schedule says that a teacher with a bachelor’s degree and 3 or 4 years of experience will make $$46,571. 62 and a teacher with a master’s degree and 3 or 4 years of experience will make $49, 430.76. Where’s the raise here?
    For some reason, Dekalb doesn’t recognize some years of experience so that teachers may have been earning the same salary for three years in a row. If a teacher is in the first of those three-year lumps, then this “raise” looks better than those of us in the second or third year.

  13. DeKalb Teacher

    I contacted human resources and they said that the 2.5% increase would not be in effect until September 15th of the new school year. Human resources mentioned it did go in to effect In July, however we technically would not get the the raise until September 15th 2018. I watch all of the board meetings and I am confused as to why they said it would go in to effect in July but yet technically we would not see an increase until September, someone dropped the ball on that one. You might want to put that out there for all the employees so they understand that they will remain on the same scale we finished up on at the end of the school year hence Phase 1 scale posted in your blog. They need to add the 2.5 % to the phase 1 scale. If you track down the October 2017 salary scale they posted and removed in June you will see what I am talking about. Again thanks for all that you and the BOE do for our children and staff.

  14. Tongue in cheek

    There is a huge difference in step salaries between the proposed salaries (step 1 in phase) and step 2…in some cases it’s 20%.

  15. What is the reasoning behind a separate pay scale for counselors in phase 2? Will they go back to overseeing the RTI/SST process? Work a longer school year?

  16. A few years back a work compensation study was also done. The results were published and teachers as well as other employees went into a frenzied delight of anticipated monetary windfalls. That delight was quickly turned to stark reality, there would be no windfall. An explanation that eludes me was given, no matter, no windfall. Professionals deserve the professional minimal courtesy of being informed of their salaries; which they earn.

  17. Just Wondering

    I guess DeKalb doesn’t really value it’s long term, most loyal teachers, either. After year 24, if you make it to year 30, you are making only about $2,500 more at year 30 than you did at year 25, since you make the same salary for THREE YEARS IN A ROW. That’s not stepping. If you’re going to say teachers are going back to stepping, then there should be increases at EACH step, not the same pay for three years before seeing an actual step up.
    And why does the Phase II schedule stop at year/step 24?
    I am really praying that the cost of health care does not rise by even one penny this year.

  18. @ Nik, counselors are required to have a master’s degree and teachers are not, both are on the same pay scale; numerous counselors still facilitate SST/RTI. Counselors should be compensated for more extensive training.

  19. I do not believe there will be an increase in pay in January. That is the price you pay to teach in America. I signed my contract and plan on staying this year, but I got cheated again. There are a lot of teachers leaving the country because they are underpaid and overworked. Some countries have so much respect for teachers that they offer them more money and no taxes. I love my students. I will continue to use my paycheck to pay for things I need just as other teachers do. At least I know I care about the children and my colleagues do too. Businesses are greedy. They don’t care about the teachers or the children. It is really sad, but I must face the facts. People continually want teachers to take our money that we get paid and put back into our classroom. They don’t realize the sacrifices we make and how much debt teachers put themselves in to help other people’s children. Nonetheless, I am excited about the new school year. I can’t wait to meet my new students.

  20. Region 1 Teacher

    This is great news. After hearing all of the metro counties getting raises this year, I feel a little better signing on with DeKalb again for this 2018-2019. Love reading your blog Stan. Thank you for bringing sanity to this county. It is much needed!

  21. Thank you DSW2
    I hope that everyone will read the article that can be reached by the link supplied in DSW2′ comments. It seems like the DCSS tried every way possible not to honor its word and repay the TSA money that was stopped by Dr. Lewis.It still has not repaid the money. I wonder how much the school system is willing to pay in lawyers fees so that it will not have to keep its word?

  22. escapee from dekalb

    And still the 2.5% is not guaranteed for the loyal Maintenance workers that are thrown in with the Administration– Many of these employees have maxed out and for years did not even get a COLA during austerity so their base pay is lower than it should be– the TSA was eliminated, they are still there– waiting to be treated as a valued member of “One DeKalb” and their raises have not EVEN been approved? Again– who is playing with the money here?

  23. Region 1 Teacher

    Hello Mr. Jester,
    I left Gwinnett and took a pay cut, since I have not received a step increase for my years of experience. I have taught four years, and I will still be getting paid less in Dekalb than I was in Gwinnett two years ago. The idea that someone who has taught 4 years should get paid the same as someone who is in in their first year is utterly insulting. If a teacher is not significantly improving their craft in four years, that person should not be in education. For the past two years, teachers with my level of experience and degree made more money than I will this year. In the subjects/grades I teach, the scores went up, I received good observations every time I was observed, and I gave back to my community with free tutoring and sponsoring an after school club. My mortgage has increased every year as a Dunwoody resident due to taxes and home value, yet I am not getting an experience step after four years in education. My husband and I have already talked about the real fact that I should apply in Gwinnett next year so we can continue to maintain the lifestyle and home we have. Gwinnett offers more stability in that they provide higher pay and teachers know their salaries when they sign their contracts in March rather than dealing with the stress of finding out 2 weeks before the school year starts you won’t be getting a step for your years of experience. Honestly it feels like a slap in the face, and I have looked at as many salary schedules for other schools as I can find and have not found one other system that pays teachers who have NO experience the same as those who have completed four years. I signed a contract for this upcoming year with the expectation that I would get a step increase as specified in the salary schedule last year, which has been taken away two years in a row for people with my experience level. In Gwinnett, I would have had the opportunity to know in advance and make career choices accordingly, however, that is not a luxury provided to Dekalb County teachers, we find out a week before our year starts after we’ve already signed contracts. I cannot fathom how Dekalb expects to keep experienced teachers who are marketable and could easily find jobs elsewhere. Every year I, and I’m sure many other teachers, get calls from schools we’ve worked for/principals asking if we’re interested in coming back or joining a new team. I love the school I work for and my administration/co-workers, but being respected and compensated for my experience, degrees, results, and teaching is something I expect as a professional, and I feel DCSD as a whole does not offer this to teachers. There is not a way for me to attach the old salary schedules, but last year teachers with 4 years experience got a step increase, and in 2016-2017 teachers with 3 years experience got a step increase. Again as a teacher with 3 years in 2017-18 and 4 years in 2018-19, I missed both those opportunities.
    What is your answer to those of use with only positive TKES, improving test scores, and growing experience to why over the past two school years we are not being compensated for our additional experience when this was not the practice in previous years?

  24. dekalbteacher

    FYI and BD Coppage,
    Your views about your work and pay are interesting. Counselors with master’s degrees are making at least 10% more than teachers with master’s degrees. I guess that makes sense if the counselor has to work an extra month. I don’t understand your point about training. Do counselors have to get additional certifications the way teachers do?
    I can’t find published salary schedules of administrators in Dekalb. Hard for me to understand why administrators should be making so much more than classroom teachers, especially when many Dekalb administrators have fewer qualifications and fewer years experience in education. You may be unusual in your hard work during that extra month. Unfortunately, I’ve heard too many stories of that “work” that takes place over the summer and returned year after year to wonder what does take place.

  25. DSW2Contributor

    dekalbteacher wrote “Counselors with master’s degrees are making at least 10% more than teachers with master’s degrees.”
    DT, if you were able to find out what Counselors spend their days and nights working on, you would break down crying.
    The *starting* pay for a Counselor should be a million dollars a year.

  26. New Admin 17

    I think everyone who works in a school building works very hard. I was recently promoted from a teaching position to an AP in a middle school. I cannot speak for other APs, but my workload and duties increased TREMENDOUSLY! For @dekalbteacher, I must say i feel some kind of way about your comment. Just because you don’t see your APs working doesn’t mean that they are not. I used to think the same thing until I became one. I spend so much of my time putting out fires with parents that don’t even make it to the teachers. I am that invisible fence that keeps the fires from spreading and getting out of control. Additionally, my required workday hours are longer than a teacher’s– I have to stay after school for school sponsored activities like concerts, plays, and other club goodies as well as having duty during football and basketball games. None of which is REQUIRED for teachers to attend. Having said that, I think all school-based employees (certified & classified) deserve to benefit from a step increase. By just giving some and not all of the hard workers an equitable increase is going to cause problems down the line. Keep in mind, anyone who has been with DeKalb since 2008 has missed 10 years of step increases. The amount I received as a “salary increase” for my new position still does not put me anywhere near the pay I would be if I had been given the steps. If this Phase II is approved, it would make financial sense for me to go back into the classroom. I is something I would honestly consider.

  27. DeKalb Support Services Need Support!
    Phase II is missing our precious Social Workers. We have 42 social workers within the district, which is 1:2200 children. This alarming ratio means that many of our DeKalb Social Workers have 4-5 schools. In this time in our society our support services personnel need to be supported financially, as they are required to have Masters degree in their field of study. Although, I am not a Social Worker, I work with social workers as a counselor. The support they provide our DCSD students, families, teachers, and school personnel is imperative to our school climate and culture. Please consider all Support Personnel in Student Support Services on Phase II salary schedule, especially our precious Social Workers. Let’s truly make sure we SOAR TO NEW HEIGHTS IN DCSD with this consideration! HAVE A WONDERFUL 2018-2019 SY!

  28. Counselor 1

    As a counselor I have frequently had to deal with suicidal students, helping their parents get them hospitalized, dealing with child abuse and sexual assault resulting in the child being removed from their parents, children who had witnessed rape and murder both in this country and others. These duties can require the counselor to stay at school until 8 or 9 with DFCS and/or Police and SVU. Counselors are expected to fulfil this role for an average of 450+ students in average in Georgia, and not infrequently a single counselor supports 1,000 students.
    Additionally, administrators often give counselors extra duties that are considered leadership responsibilities without having a title or extra compensation such as an instructional coach or AP.
    Not all counselors deal with these issues frequently, but it is something that some districts are beginning to take into account.
    As with all positions, there are people who do more and those who do less.

  29. Stan Jester

    Very interesting insights. I’d like to thank everyone for sharing in this discussion.

  30. Mr Jester, will you be voting in favor of Phase II?

  31. Curious, I don’t believe the BOE has ever voted down an agenda item. –Stan

  32. Retired Educator

    I think Cobb said it best, as far as it’s workers – “there are those that teach and those who support those that teach.” The focus should always be to improve the pay & conditions for the teachers as they are in direct contact with students daily and have the greatest influence over the continued success of the district. Everything else will shake out if you invest in your teaching staff. Hopefully under the leadership of this board, DeKalb will stop hemmoraging good teachers to other counties that are able to offer better pay & conditions.

  33. Think about what Stan said, that the BOE has never voted down something that Dr. Green has proposed.
    That is incredible!
    Stan is frequently the only one to vote no.
    Even if you are Dr. Greene’s biggest fan, it’s hard to believe that he is always right.
    Our BOE members need to raise the bar.

  34. Think about what Stan said, that the BOE has never voted down something that Dr. Green has proposed.
    That is incredible!
    Stan is frequently the only one to vote no.
    Even if you are Dr. Greene’s biggest fan, it’s hard to believe that he is always right.
    Our BOE members need to raise the bar. They often speak strongly about their concerns, but then they vote yes.
    Sometimes you have to be the bad guy if you want things to change.

  35. The pay raise won’t show up until 9/15/18—that’s usually the first paycheck for the current school year. Up until 8/31 of each year the teacher is actually being paid for the prior year of service. This is nothing new and the way it has always happened. The BOE approved the pay raise in July, but they can’t start giving pay raises to people who have already completed their service with DCSD—the raise is only for SY 2018-2019 employees.

  36. Stan,
    A board member came and spoke to our school this year. This woman made it clear that she felt part of her duty as a BOE member was to publicly agree with what Dr. Green presented. She stated that all questioning would take place behind closed doors and Dr. Green would always get her “yes” vote.

  37. Go along to get along is a common tactic. I don’t subscribe to that theory … which is why Frederick Douglas is on my homepage.

    “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.” — Frederick Douglass

  38. Back in the day when Dr. Hallford was the Superintendent, when there was a pay raise everyone got the same percentage. If anyone got a smaller raise, it was the very upper level administration, those were the Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent level positions. Everyone’s jobs were valued and appreciated. Now it seems that we have to defend our jobs. Give reasons why we deserve more than someone else. I don’t think this makes for the best work environment. Things sure have changed.
    We seem to be able to find money to hire many high level administration positions, for departments such as PR. People do the same job but they change from Directors to executive Directors. We add additional coordinators to the Region Offices, and they come in as Level III. We can find money to come up with a PR Campaign, but it takes years to do a salary and compensation study.
    In the past, the people who supervised principals had been principals. Did that make a difference? I think it helped. People who have never been principals or assistant principals are now over entire regions. There are principals with more leadership experience than the people supervising them. When you look at the need to hire 27 new principals, it seems to indicate that something needs to be done. If no one ask questions, does anyone bother to even look at things that may not be going well.
    Mr. Jester, I love the quote you posted. I am so grateful that you are willing to speak up. May I add?
    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”

  39. Advocate4Education

    I’m just wondering and a little frustrated. When I was looking at the 2018-2019 Teacher Pay scale, I noticed that I am staying at the same step that I was at last year (October’s 2017-2018 Teacher Salary Scale) because they added another step, Step 34! Last year they added Step 33 which again kept me at the same salary. I don’t think that is fair at all. So am I not to move up to the next step at all? And if so, will that happen before the raise or after?

  40. Advocate4Education

    And if Phase II is approved, how does that work? I noticed a reduction in the number of steps and salaries would definitely change. Would people be placed at the right step and the new step’s pay? The Phase II salary scale definitely becomes more comparable to surrounding school districts and school districts in other states. That would definitely be a good thing!

  41. I was just looking at the step increases and it seems to me that they have made an error. I am moving up to Step 10, which was at about $54,000 in the previous schedule. The current schedule moves my current rate up to Step 10 and adds the 2.5% raise – so I’m making less than I should according to the previous salary schedule. Hmm, I can only hope that Phase II is approved. I’ve emailed human resources.

  42. Concerned about Support Employees

    Hopefully Academic Coaches, Instructional Support Specialists, and Behavior Intervention Specialists can be included on the counselors pay scale. These positions also require master degree and leadership certification.

  43. Hello Mr. Jester, it’s good to reconnect with you. I’m closely following the “step” vote and will be in prayer that it passes and goes into effect in January 2019. Tell everyone that I said hello.

    Dr. Hayes
    Former Drama Teacher @ Vanderlyn.

  44. Dr. Hayes. That makes two of us. I hope you’re doing well. Team Jester misses you.

  45. The feeling is mutual! Let’s stay connected.

  46. As a DeKalb teacher, I certainly hope for the new salary schedule. This 2.5% “raise” was in lieu of a step increase, which, for me is several thousand less than last years schedule. This was never mentioned in any email I received. When you live on a teacher salary, you try to plan and look ahead, especially with a family. Even if the new schedule comes out with such a significant raise (comparable to our neighbors), this raise roll out was shady.

  47. Jennifer Crawford

    Hi Mr. Jester-

    This Dunwoody teacher, along with many others, is wondering when the Phase II salary schedule is up for a vote. Do you know when that will happen?

    Thanks for all you do!

  48. I imagine it will come before the board in December or January when we do our mid year adjustments.

  49. Experienced Teacher

    Will the proposed step increases continue past step 24? If not, those of us over 30 years with a Master’s Degree will receive a $1,000 increase while everyone with 24 years and less receive between $6,000-10,000 increases. We already got hit hard with the raise last year, getting a few hundred dollars while others received $10,000! Why not have a percentage increase across the board?

  50. Don’t get me wrong: the proposed Phase II salary schedule is much needed to keep pace with surrounding counties. However, I am concerned about having only 24 or 25 steps on the proposed schedule. There have always been “pauses” in the teacher salary scale where there are 2-3 years without an increase. For instance, on the Master’s scale, steps 21 & 22 are the same; steps 27-30 are the same; steps 31-33 are the same; and there are no more increases past 34. However, the proposed schedule stops all steps after step 24 or 25, depending on education level. Does DCSD hope that all teachers will give up & retire once they hit that point? Many will not yet be 60 years-old. I’ll only be 52! Am I to expect no more raises after age 52? If that’s the case, I need to start thinking about my next career, because I won’t be able to stay on. Age 52 is definitely too early to start thinking about retirement — my family members live well into their 90s. There is no way I can survive 40 years on my retirement (especially since we’ve been cheated out of our Board TSA for the past 10 years). If you want experience teachers to stick around, you can’t stop at step 24-25. That’s a problem.

  51. ParentTeacher

    “I imagine it will come before the board in December or January when we do our mid year adjustments.” – If the vote does not come before the board until December or January, when would you expect the new pay scale to be implemented? Thanks.

  52. That’s the whole point, I expect it to go into effect January. There are a number of mid year financial adjustments the school district makes and this should be one of them.

  53. Did part-time teachers also receive the 2.5 % increase or was it only given to full time teachers?

  54. The raise was intended for school based certificated employees. I assume that included part time teachers. I’m not certain.

  55. Mr. Jester,

    Can you you let us know when the new pay scale vote is scheduled?

  56. The board doesn’t have a schedule per se for agenda items for the most part. I expect this to come before the board in December or January.

  57. Experienced teacher 2

    Mr. Jester,
    Will the new step increases stop at 24 years? Was this a misprint? Will there be no step increases after 24 years?

  58. The new salary schedule has not been presented. They are still hammering out details.

  59. Do you have an update on step pay hike for teachers/Professionals in January?

  60. No updates

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