Need Input – New Salary Schedules

DeKalb Schools administration is moving fast and furious to correct this issue. I’m trying to get out and vet the documentation as expeditiously as possible. I could use your feedback.

It looks like we are re-approving the Jan 7th E scales for teachers. Z, G, N, and LT salary steps are revised. Everything will be retroactively applied to Jan 1, 2019. Implementation is expected to be by the end of March.

The salary schedules come with a big price tag. The annual cost of this is expected to be about $40 million.

DEKALB BOARD OF EDUCATION CALLED MEETING – Wednesday, February 13, 2019
The DCSD administration is requesting that the Board approve the retroactive application of the January 7th salary steps (E scales for teachers), as well as revised Z, G, N, and LT Salary Steps as attached.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

  January 7th Approved E Scale (and revised Z, G, N, LT) Salary Scales
  Annualized Payroll Projection Impacts (By Fund for second half FY2019)
  Salary Schedule Correction Process Schedule and Timeline

ANNUALIZED PAYROLL PROJECTION IMPACTS


FAQ – Updated 2/12/2019 8:20pm

I have some answers to the most commonly asked questions.

Where are the other salary schedules – These are only the adjusted salary schedules. If a particular salary schedule is not mentioned here, then refer back to the original January salary schedules that were approved.

Update On Phase 2 Salary Steps for All Staff

Some Salary Schedules slid down from Dec to Jan – The administration is asking to address these on a case by case basis. There will be an appeals process.

Experience to Step Calculation – The administration is attempting to simplify this. Plainly stated, first year teachers with no experience are on step 1. 2nd year teachers with one full years experience are on step 2 … and so on. The actual experience column will be the teacher’s actual experience.

Step Slot – That is a nomenclature assigned to a small percentage of teachers a few years back. I believe the administration is looking to get those employees off the “step slot”.

Communication – The school district will hopefully communicate to all employees by the end of next week their step and salary. They will include instructions for an appeals process.

168 responses to “Need Input – New Salary Schedules

  1. Some Ocupational Health Teachers who worked for the District for at least 12 consecutive years or more received a step increase in January 2019 and some did not. These teachers were loyal to both the District and students during DeKalb’s fiscally challenging years. Are the teachers whose salaries may be out of their 12 plus years ago step due to cost of living wage increases not still eligible for a step increase?

  2. Hi Stan
    I was put on step 34 when I received my step increase 1/31. There wasn’t an increase in pay because I’m on step 34. It looks like on the new pay scales this remains true? Also, no decrease in pay correct? Thank you so much for your service Stan!!

  3. For clarity, who are classified as LT (Lead Teachers)? Is there a difference in Lead Teachers and Classroom Teachers OR are they one in the same? Thank you SO MUCH Mr. Jester for keeping us informed and for caring about this process!

  4. Educator, No decrease in pay. I believe all the metro Atlanta districts have salary caps for teachers after 30ish years. Is that your understanding?

  5. WDH, There is a separate salary schedule for Lead Teachers.

  6. Hi Stan
    Most area school systems level off between 25 and 33. I was put at step 34 which is correct and looks like I have topped out. I usually get COLA when they happen. Thank you for letting me know. Thank you for your service!

  7. Is the Lead Teacher and Classroom Teacher the same position?

  8. Wow just wow!!!! This was already approved so why weren’t we getting it?

  9. Educator, Governor Kemp just put enough money in the FY 2020 budget for all teachers to get a $3,000 raise. This won’t be discussed for a few months during budget discussions … but I believe it will affect you in 2020.

  10. This is the original salary that I expected to get with the increase, so if this is implemented, I will be a happy camper! Thanks, so much Stan!

  11. I believe the LT salary schedule is for the Lead Teacher of Special Education.

  12. Ahhh … LTSE … thank you for that clarification.

  13. Stan,
    Back in June the BOE approved about $25M for a raise and for implementation of the Comp & Class study.

    Now the estimate is $40M.

    Was the $25M just for half of a year? If so, then the $40M for a full year sounds like something was cut.

    Can you clarify, Stan?

  14. The original grand total estimation was for a full year of Phase I salary adjustments and a half year for Phase II salary adjustments.

  15. escapee from Dekalb

    what about the non teaching staff– not the ADMINISTRATORS, but the actual dedicated workers….

  16. Thank you Stan

    I assume we will not know what step they have decided to place us on for the time being?

  17. @Thank you Stan, My step placement was on the pay plan HCM sent me in the top area. But…I understand from a friend that the top area on her pay plan was blank on hers. Anyway…check and see if it is there.

  18. Stan
    On the PT, SLP, OT, Counselor scale you posted on 12/24/19, the MA level at slot 24 was 86,189. Now on the masters level(same pay scale) at slot 30 is at 80,686. This is substantially lower. At step 34 on the pay scale proposed on 12/24/19 would have given me a pay increase at step 34. Is this a misprint?

  19. PT, SLP, OT, Counselor scale – Hmmm … I see … the scale from 12/24 is notably higher than the one proposed tomorrow. I doubt it is a misprint. I’ll see if I can find out what gives.

  20. another questionable error on Z scale (PT, SLP, OT , counselor scale)-

    It appears all scales, with exception of teacher scale, start at Masters level. There are a few, a very small highly experienced few, therapists (grandfathered in) that are still at a Bachelors level.

    Are the titles just incorrect (i.e. shouldn’t have a ‘specialist’ title….but rather Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate)?
    Did the entire scale not show in this post? If so, will confuse people…

    Thanks Stan!

  21. Hey, have they really looked at the salary scale that they are about to re-approve. STOP !!!!! The salary scale that was up as of September 2019 is more. A teacher that is at 33+ years with a masters is making $81,761.37. This is the highest it goes which means they have maxed out. Now with this scale that they are talking about re-approving, you are putting up a scale for teacher with a max of 29 years with a masters making $79.869.00. Are you freaking serious. Come on what is going on. Somebody is not looking at the WHOLE picture.

    I have a copy of the 2018-2019 teacher Salary schedule affectively September 2018. There is a SERIOUS problem that needs to be fixed.

  22. Veteran Teacher, You’re saying the cap in the Sept 2019 schedule was higher than the cap they are proposing now. $79,869 is the cap they proposed back in January. According to the salary comparison, it’s still more than all of the other Metro Atlanta teachers.

  23. Cautiously Hopeful

    The problem in some cases was not the scale, but that people were not placed on the step equal to their documented experience. Is it the intent that employees paid on these scales will be placed on the step that actually coincides with their years of experience?

  24. A $25M increase in salaries is really good. A $40M increase is even better, but I think its clear that they are banking on part of the state increase in funding to pay for this. But its great to know that that funding will go to teachers. Unlike some of this board, I feel like Dr. Green has consistently shown a desire to increase salaries within the district. The schedule matches the salary comparison. I think the step issue is still going to be implemented as Dr. Green described previously, but we’ll see. Regardless, $40M is $40M. Somebody has got to be getting a substantial pay increase.

  25. Stan,
    Do you have clarification of whether we are moving to the step corresponding to years of experience or if they are simply starting to step us again. My HR email did have 27/30 in the slot but other co-workers had blank slots.

    Thank you for asking for employee input!

  26. Experience to Step calculation is one of the items I need clarity on.

  27. My step slot said 2534. I took that to mean step 34. Good question on how to read the step slot. To me I assumed it meant step 34 since that is the step I should me on. @dismayed what does 2730 mean to you?

  28. Step Slot 2534 – I expect a whole new batch of communications regarding the salary schedules to go out to everyone.

  29. Thank you Stan!!

  30. @ Educator,
    I assumed 27/30 meant frozen at step 27 with 30 years experience (although I actually have 32). I hope you aren’t frozen at 25 with 34 years…could that mean because you maxed out at 25 on one of the multitude of scales ? Or you’ve been frozen for 9 years? which it feels like to me!

  31. Stan,
    I agree with Vet Teacher though…something is still off. Step 27 Doctorate on newest teacher schedule is a huge .46 (cents) more than Teacher schedule from September, which therapists are currently on. If move therapists back to separate schedule, now new Z, step 27 Doctorate is $755.54 less. The only way to make this an increase is to place us on correct years of experience. Otherwise, it’s just back to ‘well, no one is getting a cut’…appreciated but doesn’t really make one feel ‘valued’ after enduring furloughs, freezes, pay cuts over the years.

  32. Dismayed, I’m the most concerned about how our employees are paid compared to the other Metro Atlanta school districts. Our most experienced teachers with Doctorates will be the second best paid (Gwinnett is first on this step) in the Metro Atlanta area. I realize that may not be the raise you’re looking for, but it’s not a bad salary …. relatively speaking.

  33. @Dismayed…Thank you! Yes, I probably was frozen at step 25 for 9 years or longer. I Actually have 37 validated years experience. Not sure where the 34 came from in their figures but assumed that was a max step on a pay scale. Z scale has issues as Stan knows. Z scale much lower then previously stated salary pay scale. Also no bachelors level on Z scale. Anyway, look forward to getting a payslot that makes sense, and appropriate to my experience.

  34. @Educator & @Dismayed, are you using the salary schedule released in December or January?

  35. Anonymous (The Second)

    Agree with Stan. The key is comparison to the other schools in the area. As for my slot it clearly says E0416 which I take to mean a T4 Step 16. My step appears to be accurate. I believe it is one year off, but it might be due to my starting about 1 month into the school year.

    (Now, don’t get me started on the county not recognizing prior teaching experience outside the county, but that’s another matter. )

  36. Anonymous, can you indulge me and talk about how they recognize prior teaching experience outside the county? This is a good time for that discussion.

  37. Stan,
    I am simply pointing out discrepancies between scales, as Vet Teacher has already done. However, most employees when told they will get a raise, actually do expect to get one. At a minimum, I think everyone should be moved to the correct step/years of experience. How can new employees coming into DeKalb be placed on the appropriate years of service/step when those of us that have stayed are stuck on pay steps that don’t reflect years of service (and therefore payed less)?
    I am comparing the new schedules that you posted today with the September 2018 schedules from the start of the school year. I believe Vet Teacher was also referring to those…
    And again, thank you for your communication, Stan!

  38. @Dismayed, Thanks for the clarification. My perception of the new salary schedules are adjustments in response to the Comp. & Class. study.

  39. Hi Stan
    Im looking at what you posted 12/24, phase 2 payscale for Counselors, SLP, PT and OT. It has step 24 on masters level much higher salary then step 30, masters on new Z payscale. There is a bachelor level printed on that phase 2 payscale. The new Z scale does not have the bachelors level.

  40. This is my 20th year in Dekalb with a master’s degree. If this schedule is approved, my pay will increase. But I would still make more Fulton, APS and Cobb. Coming from a region 6 school, none of those districts would be a culture shock for me. I will be looking for new employment if this is salary that Dekalb offers me.

  41. Stan,
    HRs calculation of service is an eye opening experience. For example, if you worked a 4 day/week job (32 hours which I believe would be considered full time from a benefits perspective), they shave off the difference. If you were on maternity leave, they take off the weeks/months. If you worked two part-time jobs at the same time (to equal full time), they won’t count both. If you worked in your field but in a volunteer capacity (Peace Corps), they don’t count it at all because you didn’t have a salary! That’s why you see posts like mine stating 27/30 but 32 years experience. Getting through the new hire process is enough to make people leave before they start. I personally worked a full 3 months without knowing what my actual salary would be. I don’t know any other industry that does this. I’m interested to hear what Anonymous has to say…

  42. @Undervalued, fair critique. The T5 salary schedule is front loaded and pays new teachers well.

  43. Hello Stan,

    I’d like to know why you or the school district is comparing only salaries? If you’re using Gwinnett as the measurement, then why not think about other comparisons?

    Gwinnett has 180,000 students. Dekalb has 102,000 students.
    Gwinnett employs 22,000 employees. Dekalb employs 15,500 employees.

    Before approving any salary schedule, I’d want to know why we need so many more employees.

    A teacher in Gwinnett has a 15% chance of having to cover a class. A teacher in Dekalb has a 25% chance.

    I’m sure Gwinnett has problems. I’m not sure Gwinnett teachers have to figure out how to work around the unnecessary challenges that the school district creates. I don’t read many AJC stories about hiring problems and pay problems and graduation date problems in Gwinnett schools.

    If we’re going to pay our administrators more than a comparable salary, then we should be doing the same for our teachers.

  44. @DekalbTeacher, Good question. It is easy to compare salaries. It is challenging to compare complete compensation package. It is next to impossible to compare quality of life with a broad stroke.

    Additional Retirement Packages – Many school districts have additional retirement packages. DeKalb Schools has a 403(b) 2% Employee Contribution Match. Most other school districts have a 7% matching FICA … otherwise known as Social Security. I think 2% matching is weak. I asked the administration to consider raising it.

    Teacher Tax – The school district taxes teachers when classrooms are not adequately funded, class sizes are too big, teachers don’t get planning periods, etc …

  45. Hi, will paraprofessionals – specifically Pre-K – receive any adjustments to salary anytime soon? Thanks.

  46. Hello Stan,

    One more question. Why do assistant principals deserve so much more pay than teachers?

    A teacher with a master’s degree with ten years of experience would make $60,867. A high school assistant principal with a master’s degree and ten years of experience, as a teacher or an assistant principal because there is no difference would make $80,688? The assistant principal works 23 more days, so it makes sense that they would make more. Why 30% more?

    A teacher with a specialist’s degree with twenty years of experience would make $77, 753. A high school assistant principal with the same degree and experience in teaching or in administration would make. $90, 149, which is more than a teacher with a specialist’s degree in Dekalb would ever make with this new pay schedule.

    Find me the teacher that wants to stay in the classroom and work with students that will tell you that this makes sense.

  47. So Dekalb wants to frontload new teachers’ salaries. But when quality veterans leave, who’s going to mentor these new teachers? From my experience, new teachers’ test scores are considerably lower when compared to quality veteran teachers’ test scores. Financially, it makes sense to pay new teachers more. But the short and long term effects could be devastating to student achievement.

  48. Questions and Answers
    I have some answers to the most commonly asked questions.

    Where are the other salary schedules – These are only the adjusted salary schedules. If a particular salary schedule is not mentioned here, then refer back to the original January salary schedules that were approved.

    http://factchecker.stanjester.com/2019/01/8716/

    Some Salary Schedules slid down from Dec to Jan – The administration is asking to address these on a case by case basis. There will be an appeals process.

    Experience to Step Calculation – The administration is attempting to simplify this. Plainly stated, first year teachers with no experience are on step 1. 2nd year teachers with one full years experience are on step 2 … and so on. The actual experience column will be the teacher’s actual experience.

    Step Slot – That is a nomenclature assigned to a small percentage of teachers a few years back. I believe the administration is looking to get those employees off the “step slot”.

    Communication – The school district will hopefully communicate to all employees by the end of next week their step and salary. They will include instructions for an appeals process.

  49. @DekalbTeacher,
    Assistant Principal Pay – Teachers are 10 month employees and Assistant Principals are 11 month employees. A fair comparison would be daily wages.

    You bring up an interesting philosophical question. Who is more important in a company, the CEO or the employees on the ground? In my line of work (software development), I’ve had that conversation many times … who’s more important … management or the people writing the software?

    Peter Principal – The Peter principle is the concept which observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to their “level of incompetence”. In other words, an employee is promoted based on their success in previous jobs until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent.

    I subscribe to the Dilbert Principal

    Dilbert Principal – The Dilbert principle is a concept which states that companies tend to systematically promote incompetent employees to middle management to get them out of the way where they can do the least amount of harm.

  50. Dear Stan
    One reader was asking questions about Gwinnett. I think that this has been posted here before, but Gwinnett has an additonal retirement plan for their educators. This is in addition to the TRS. Rick Cost, who is referenced in the article, use to work for DeKalb.

    https://www.ajc.com/news/double-pensions-boost-retirement-gwinnett-educators/m8LgzdEdZvutpC6PW4OPCN/

    A combination of employee contributions and state and local tax money supports their participation in the Teacher Retirement System of Georgia.But the second, local pension is funded 100 percent by the district — and thus Gwinnett taxpayers — at a cost of $139 million in the past three years alone. The district does not, however, contribute to Social Security for its employees.
    ….. 5.2 percent higher than if the district were participating in Social Security. Employees pay only 1 percent of their earnings to support the district’s long-term disability fund.Rick Cost, chief financial officer for Gwinnett County Public Schools, described the local pension plan as a “valuable tool in attracting and retaining outstanding teachers and support staff during times of fiscal austerity.”

    With teachers’ salaries stagnant for about a decade, “a secure retirement program” has become “increasingly important,” Cost said.Wilbanks said the pension is smart business. “Every good employer takes care of its people,” he said.

  51. @Joy,
    What’s 5.2 percent higher than social security?

    This is somewhat easier for Wilbanks to accomplish. DeKalb Schools is considered a wealthy district and pays $100 million a year into the state equalization fund. Gwinnett is considered a poor district and receives $65 million every year from the state equalization fund.

    That being said, I realize that is an “M.P.” And not a “Y.P.”

  52. Thank you Stan for helping us and keeping us informed!

  53. Stan
    I am sorry, I was just copying a part of the article,but I have added a little more of the sentence that explains the 5.2 percent. Stan,how is the determination made of which disticts are considered “poor’.? How can they be”poor” and us “rich.” There are so many economic needs in DeKalb.

    It’s even helping the bottom line of current workers. The district boasts on its website that employee take-home pay is 5.2 percent higher than if the district were participating in Social Security.

  54. 5.2 percent higher – Ah … OK. Social Security takes 7.5% from employees. If the district doesn’t participate in social security, then the employee gets that 7.5% in their paycheck. However, if the school district has some other plan which the employee must make a contribution, then that contribution would be taken out of their paycheck. So …. Gwinnett Schools employees must be paying 2.3% into their retirement system.

    Equalization Fund
    There is plenty on the web on this subject. DeKalb Schools pleads with the state legislature every year to fix the formula.

    AJC – Equalization fund: Some schools more equal than others
    https://www.ajc.com/news/equalization-fund-some-schools-more-equal-than-others/f4KEOYWTvsNePToXAflmWI/

    What neither the governor nor applauding lawmakers knew at the time was that virtually the entire fund will flow to Gwinnett, Clayton and Paulding County schools.

    “I am not sure there is anything equal about it,” said Cherokee County Superintendent Frank Petruzielo.

    The equalization fund, set up in 1985, is supposed to provide greater equity in school funding for systems with lower property tax bases. It was often thought of as a way to help poor, rural districts that can raise little from property taxes. But the collapse of the real estate market in metro Atlanta changed the equation, and the largest grants in recent years have gone to districts that are neither rural nor comparatively poor.

  55. I really think that a percentile raise would make most sense and be easiest to implement. That way those who endured the hardships of furlough days etc. would not feel unappreciated as we do now. Front loading the salary scales gives veterans a slap in the face for their years of service to our students. What have these younger teachers done for Dekalb? Many will leave before they ever reach the top of the scale. Those who are there now should not be ignored. Many of us are just looking at retirement instead. Guess that may be the idea behind this front loaded scale. Every time someone mentions veteran sacrifices we hear…”well it’s better than other districts”. That doesn’t help, in fact it is condescending. The pay scale now shows a decrease in veteran salary. That’s sad.
    Just give everyone a raise.

  56. @NotAgain, The intent of these raises were to reflect the results of the Comp & Class study. Whether we gave across the board raises or used the Comp & Class study, some steps are going to be paid the highest in the metro Atlanta area and some are not.

  57. As a taxpaying citizen of DeKalb, I would like to see our teachers get an increase but I also have to ask at what cost. Many of us in private industry also saw wages go down along with many layoffs during the last recession. In many cases wages have recovered however the job is being done with fewer people. What long term impact will the increases have on the budget? We are in good times with the economy now but there are predictions of another recession.

    There are also some in the community suggesting we roll back the millage rate due to tax collections increasing. Looking at the 3-5 year landscape, might we need to increase the millage to ensure our teachers get an increase while sustaining the current funding levels? Have there been any discussions about this?

    I am also frustrated that mistakes were made with the entire process in providing the increase. It has been acknowledged and in my opinion, we need to let those involved with the process take care of this. Having everyone call HR asking for a status will only delay the process. As teachers, I’m sure many would not like parents constantly calling during instructional time then chastising you when all subject matter hasn’t’ been covered. I think Dr. Morley had a point in that there probably were not enough staffers available to effectively work through this process. Perhaps they can look into this after this situation is resolved. I believe I heard there was a new HR system in place. If true, could there have been an issue with that due to a lack of training?

    While I’d like to be able to say the DeKalb teachers are some of the best paid in the state, I’d also like to say their overall compensation packages are the best. I agree with Stan in that I’d like to see open discussions about restoring some of the retirement matches. I think it is at 2% now however Social Security matches can be around 7%. Again, we have to ask of the impact to the budget and whether this can be sustainable.

    It will be interesting to see if Gov. Kemp’s budget is approved with the $3,000 set aside for teachers. In years past, some districts used these funds from the legislature to close shortages in their budgets. How DeKalb elects to use these monies will be interesting.

  58. @Stan, regarding the Equalization that is in place, DeKalb Board members have complained about this for years. I can recall Ms. Sarah Copelin-Woods talking about it during Board meetings. This was established as an attempt ti provide assistance to rural school districts in the state. At the time, Gwinnett was considered a rural district. Some call this the Robin Hood method of funding, take from the rich and give to the poor.

    Unfortunately this can only be resolved in the legislature. In speaking to some of our representatives, they pointed out that those on the receiving end have no incentive to see the regulations governing this change hence Gwinnett will always be a beneficiary of these funds.

  59. Smoke and mirrors

    Stan
    In reviewing this post the scales for OtPTSLPcounselors is not the same as posted before. The numbers are considerably different and as another person posted no bachelor’s level. It appears that master’s level is receiving bachelor’s pay specialist master’s pay and doctorate specialist pay. It looks to me inaccurate. When I compare the two scales this is what I see. Definitely not the scale presented originally in December. Will this be looked at and how did bachelor’s level get removed as the district has bachelor level SLPs. This is very concerning. Thank you for keeping everyone informed.

  60. John,
    The AJC recently reported that enrollment is down across the state with 1,000 fewer students in Dekalb this year.
    I don’t think Dekalb thinks about those things.

    You’re right that Dekalb has generous compensation packages. However, I think everyone needs to remember that Dekalb employs teachers and Dekalb employs educators. Those educators who work as administrators in and out of the school buildings make nice salaries and collect pensions, so an administrator or manager making about a $100,000 is also getting another $20,000 put in the teacher pension, and an additional 403b option. A school house budget of 10, 500,000 is actually 7,500,000 in salaries and 3,000,000 in benefits.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if someone forgot to factor in the pension contributions when calculating these new pay schedules. It’s a whole lot of money that no one talks about when figuring out how little to pay bus drivers or how much teachers should be paid.

  61. Smoke and Mirrors

    So will they take a look at the OTPTSLPCOUNSELORS scale because it is not the one previously posted. The numbers are different and no bachelor’s level..

  62. @dekalbteacher, i think natural attrition will take care of having fewer students. Historically we’ve also seen enrollment drops during good economic times as some families elect to use private schools. During economic slowdowns, public school enrollments typically increase as some families may not have as much disposable income for private school tuition. As teacher leave for a variety of reasons, HR and local schools should factor in projected enrollments when staffing.

    I wonder like you if benefits were properly factored in when looking at the financial impact to the budget. In the past, teachers were given bonuses which did not impact the long term benefits package. Making changes to the salary schedule has long term implications to the budget. Have any of the employees in HR and Finance been involved in adjustment to the salary schedule in the past? If not, they may not know all the questions to ask regarding the long term budgetary impact.

    As indicated earlier, I believe our teachers should get increases for all that they do for our children and community. I don’t want those working on the plan to rush to get something out because of pressures from the community that may ultimately have unintended consequences for the school district down the road. The best way to get buy in for this is frequent communication regarding the process and status. I don’t know if it is possible and if the budget will permit but a sign of good faith may be to offer back pay back to the planned implementation date of the increase so that teachers are made whole.

    Stan mentioned that the salary scale has been front loaded as a means of attracting more teachers. I understand the frustrations of those that have dedicated their careers to educating children in DeKalb for 20+ years and may not see as large of an increase. This strategy is definitely forward looking however I would be curious to see the total salary (adding Steps 1 – 30) possible and without supplements then compare that to other metro area districts. I would think that number would be in the top 3 for the state of Georgia, which is something else to consider.

  63. @Stan, I speculated about the HR system. Isn’t it relatively new to DeKalb? For some reason, PeopleSoft sticks out in my mind. If it is relatively new, do you know anything about how training was done for employees? You’ve mentioned being in IT thus have probably seen implementations that did not go as expected for a variety of reasons.

  64. Jesus was a carpenter

    Stan,do you know how many of DCSD’s 16k employee’s are certified vs classified.?I dont recall seeing this anywhere.And,are the classified employees that also participated in the MAG Compensation &Classification study being compensated on a scale equal to teachers?The conversations seem to omit this group of employees. A fellow employee is a 30+ year employee,having endured the same lack of raises,furlough days,R.I.F cuts etc.He received the 1.3% raise in January,this put him at step 20,is this going to stay or change with this do over?Thank you for your continued push for honesty and integrity.

  65. escapee from Dekalb

    Let me ask again— what about the many non teachers who have been working for years without raises, had furlough days after teachers did not, have seen a 1/2 reduction in the workforce with more schools, more buses and more bosses. Will they benefit from this raise? I have not seen mention yet. I agree the teachers are important, but when the bathrooms no longer work, the buses are no longer safe, your school roof is leaking..and I won’t even start with HVAC–who ya gonna call?

  66. So making it right will cost money – we all know that.

    You know what else costs money – hiring a mess load of new teachers every single year and having an incompetent central office.

    My question is this, what will DeKalb now do with the $3,000 for teacher raises from the Governor. I have been in DeKalb 10 years and I believe that one time the Governor gave money to the school districts for teacher raises but instead DeKalb chose to keep the money to plug holes in the budget instead of passing it along. Is DeKalb going to do the right thing and pass that money to the teachers or are they going to swipe it to use to pay for this raise.

  67. Counselor, PT, OT, SLP phase 2 payscale has been downgraded from Dec.24 post. The new Z scale is much lower for Counselors, PT, SLP and OT. Also no bachelors level listed either. Is this scale going to be reassessed?

  68. So we should she this change in our March 30th? I’ve held on being in this county so long and made so many sacrifices that have had major impacts on my life, that at this point I just want to know when I can expect this raise…..

  69. OT (Occupational Therapists)/PT (Physical Therapists) /ST (Speech Therapists) – Received a 2.5% increase in July 2018. OT/PT/ST have a new salary schedule. I don’t have the history of the development of that scale. I need to dig up the results of OT/PT/ST in the MAG Comp and Class study.

    New Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System – DeKalb Schools is migrating from Cross Point to Munis/Tyler. Finance will run both systems in parallel through June 2019. HR/Payroll implementation has been delayed due to salary structure issues. It’s being run in parallel as well and I’m not sure how training on this part has gone. Operations/Routing/Planning – TripTracker field trip activities remain on track. Currently training employees on Routing & Planning.

    DCSD Certified/Classified – I don’t know the breakdown off hand. The MAG Comp & Class study compared classified positions to their counterparts in other Metro Atlanta school districts. All the schedules are published.

    RIFs and Furlough Days – DeKalb Schools, like most people, had financially difficult times 6 – 8 years ago. These raises are not reparations. DeKalb Schools would like to compete in the market place for talented people moving forward.

    $3,000 for teacher raises from the Governor. – I don’t know what the school district is planning to do with that money. Those discussions will be had over the next 4 months.

  70. Feeling Unappreciated

    Since there is nothing given for years above 29 in the salary scale, I would like to suggest a longevity stipen each year after 29.

  71. @ Stan – “$3,000 for teacher raises from the Governor. – I don’t know what the school district is planning to do with that money. Those discussions will be had over the next 4 months.” That is a no brainer and not an option in my books, no discussion needed!

    I know what the school board better demand. Give it to the teachers and not what they have done several times before, used it to patch holes in the budget.

  72. @Lynn, Last time the Governor did this, all the money went to the teachers like he asked. The question is, are these current raises being paid with that expected money. So, is that money going to the teachers now … or … can we expect that money to be added to their salaries starting next school year.

  73. concerned citizen

    Hello, Stan and all, We can see why Stan has earned the respect of the teachers; also, the feed-back you, Stan, have requested and received is clear-headed and responsible. I hate to think where DeKalb would be if you hadn’t come along to help us wade through these difficult administrators with the huge salaries. I just believe with all the input here on salaries, we can wait a little longer. It bothers me that this big mess came along and all of a sudden, within a week or so, it’s solved (again!) The concerns made are legitimate and need to be examined. Who is this”dream team” that suddenly solved all the problems? Are they the same ones who created the monster? I think so many contributors to your blog could do the job with you at the helm. It’s so serious, our money, that we take the time to see the matter through without rash action. The ones asking for immediate approval are the very ones who most likely created the problems, so why do we let their time demands rush us to what perhaps may generate even more problems? Can we withhold approval until we have had time to evaluate every concern expressed here? Can we think for ourselves without all this sloppy, murky intrigue from the Palace and its many useless, incompetent denizens?

  74. @Stan, Thanks for answering the question regarding the new HR system. If they are testing and running parallel with the old system while also attempting to implement the new salary structure, Dr. Morley’s comment is making more sense. That would be a lot on anyone’s plate. As mentioned before, I hope there is a plan to have a lessons learned discussion after the salary structure process in complete.

    I also brought up the point about the $3000. That is the governor’s proposal and the budget has not been approved yet. Just want to make sure we don’t put the cart before the horse. If approved in some form or fashion, it would apply to the 2019-2020 school year. As I also mentioned, several school districts used those earmarks to close holes in their budgets when allocated in the past. If the legislature wants to ensure it goes to the teachers, they should update the state salary schedule and provide the necessary funds to the school districts. Otherwise, school districts will do what makes fiscal sense, especially since these funds probably don’t factor in retirement and other benefits. I believe DeKalb’s budget is in better shape that many school districts so it is reasonable to expect that most of that money would go to teachers. We should also hope that if tax collections exceed forecasts, citizens in DeKalb won’t call for a rollback of the millage rate. If earmarked specifically for teachers, I wonder how that will impact other workers in school districts. This process should be followed closely throughout the session.

    What if DeKalb had some of the equalization dollars to use for our district? It could make a big difference.

  75. Stan Jester wrote: Veteran Teacher, You’re saying the cap in the Sept 2019 schedule was higher than the cap they are proposing now. $79,869 is the cap they proposed back in January. According to the salary comparison, it’s still more than all of the other Metro Atlanta teachers.

    Vet Teacher: Yes, the Salary Schedule is for 2018-2019 after the 2.5% raise was applied back in September. It has 33+ as the top years of credited experience and STEP 34 as the last step. I was trying to scan it in and attach it to this but it won’t do. Is there a way I can email it to you? They are basically going backwards if they use the one they are talking about re-approving.

  76. Stan Jester I just sent the 2018-2019 teacher salary schedule to your gmail account.

  77. Thank you Stan

    Thank you for providing the transparency we desperately need- The salary schedule for Counselors in your Jan 10th post “Update on Phase 2 Salary…” is several hundred dollars higher than the one in this post.

  78. Curious teacher

    Newsflash just came out about approval by the board today. It’s refreshing to hear from the county directly. Thanks Stan for your continued efforts to keep us informed and compensated!

  79. PT/OT/Speech Therapists are medically trained and are in high demand, not only in schools, but in the private sector. Those that leave, are rarely going to another school system, but are leaving for higher pay in the clinic setting. The MAG proposal numbers were closer to where we should be. The current proposed one is not. Dekalb Schools cut our pay back in approximately 2012 and it resulted in losing 1/2 our staff. Thank you for looking at this scale closely! We are concerned.

  80. Stan,
    Would you please re-post the 2/13/19 approved final pay scales? I am curious to know if they corrected items such as missing Bachelors column, etc. It appears from the just received News Flash that salaries will now be based on years experience vs step. Thank you for answering our questions and helping with clarity. I hope that all the ‘input’ you received since your request yesterday was helpful in the discussions at the Board meeting today.

  81. Concerned Educator

    Greetings Stan,

    What is the plan for district-level certified staff members that are classified under grade 127? According to the 1.1.19 salary schedule approved by the board, a new pay scale was to be followed; however, it was not put into effect.

    Thank you for your support.

  82. Say No More Sabrina

    Stan,
    According to an article written in the AJC on February 1, it stated human reaources reports on DeKalb’s executive salary ranges; the regional superintendents were expected to receive an 11.5 percent ,YES, an 11.5 percent annual salary raise. From: $133,000 to $148,00, and according to information DeKalb placed on its site, (with some digging and searching) this salary of $133,000 was a starting salary before the 11.5 percent raise and the cap salary was $196,000 before the 11.5 percent raise, which is now well over 200,000 dollars. And the chiefs’ starting salary was $196,000 to $250,000, which I’m sure is significantly higher with an 11.5 percent raise now, also. Where are/were these salaries readily posted for “all” to see as teachers’ and others’ salaries to see and posted publicly? Was this 11.5 percent annual raise for regional superintendents discussed openly in a public board meeting, and did the board approve this 11.5 percent increase? Why are these such raise percentages never mentioned on the evening news as the 2.5 percent raises given to teachers. I noticed DeKab seemed to be looking for some type of sympathy by showing how much it will cost the district to “correct” recent teachers’ pay raises. Again, an 11.5 percent pay raise for regional superintendents and who knows who else; in the words of Dr. Green, are there “algorithm flaws” in this 11.5 percent annual raise for the regional superintendents or is this 11.5 percent annual pay raise for regional superintendents and possibly others true?

    Also, how does DeKalb County School District have SEVEN HRs? So, every region has its own HR? Why? For years, Dekalb has had issues about being “top heavy” in the county office. DeKalb has personnel in the county office with these enormous salaries who most seem to be incompetent, unconcerned, and unaware of what really goes on in a school daily. This problem seems to not have been fixed either and keeps going on and on. DeKalb needs to “clean house” in the county office. Every person in the county office needs to reapply for his/her position, if he/she is “qualified” to do the job or have the proper degree or proper degree with experience and vetted properly should be considered for the job. DeKalb has never recovered from the “Crawford Lewis” Era, and the ones who have succeeded him haven’t been much better. And don’t even mention this so called “county curriculum” not state, but “county curriculum” teachers are mandated to follow. DeKalb has been going down a rabbit hole and downward spiral ever since.

    Teachers in DeKalb aren’t trying to be the highest paid on every step of the pay scale compared to other teachers in the metro area; they want their due justice in the teacher retirement debocile (which DeKalb is appealing, ‘but you care about your employees.’) ( I’m sure the absorbadent amount of money being spent on this matter is making the county lawyers blissful), their proper years of service, and their proper pay for those years in which they have worked. Employees beyond the county office are just plain old tired of others trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

  83. Concerned Dekalb Educator

    What is the district’s plan for correcting the Coordinator II salaries? We were placed randomly on steps that robbed us of 10 years of experience, and advanced degrees do not factor in for us anymore. My daily pay is significantly lower than that of a teacher with equivalent experience and degree, and now even my annual salary is lower than that of a teacher, although I work additional weeks in the summer and this position was advertised as a promotion when I applied for it. By the way, it took weeks to find out my new salary after my promotion, and all my emails sent to HCM requesting a meeting about my salary remained unanswered. Based on salary grade 129, assistant principals and coordinators were supposed to be on the same salary grade. It appears that the assistant principals have now their own salary schedule that factors in years of experience and advanced degrees. If Coordinators II will continue to be payed based on salary grade 129, can we at least find out why some of us were placed 10 years back on that scale, and what algorithm was used for this placement? A position that was advertised as a promotion should not have a daily rate much lower than that of a teacher, and an annual salary lower than that of a teacher. People believe that everybody at the AIC has an inflated salary; that is simply not true. I had to find that out the hard way, when I trusted the system and accepted the promotion, only to find out much later how low my new salary was. We work very hard every day, but we are not properly compensated for our work. Our lunch time is unpaid, and an additional hour was added to our daily schedule due to this reason. The firm that conducted the salary study recommended a much, much higher salary for us than what we actually received. Is there any glimmer of hope for us? We did not receive any support or logical explanation from HCM, and our e-mails were simply ignored.

  84. Confused Classified

    I see that this question has been asked, but not sure if it was properly answered:
    What about those classified employees who also received the wrong pay? No disrespect to the teachers, but we endure just as much; if not equal as you all do. Does this change affect us to?

  85. Why not use the payscales that were approved by the board in the summer?

  86. Stan Jester, why don’t they use the 2018-2019 Teacher Salary Schedule after the 2.5% raise was imputed from this pass September 2018 and work with that.

    I guess it is tttoooo much like right!!!!!!!!! Would be less confusion, just saying.

  87. Based on current pay period(ending Feb 15), it looks like county reverted back to pay schedule prior to the fiasco implementation that just went into effect. Curious that they got this corrected so quickly. I wonder if all erroneous salary increases were reversed.

  88. For PT/SLP/OT to get a pay step increase…the Z scale would need to be reassessed. The scale they proposed by MAG in the summer of 2018 and approved by the board is the one that will give us a step increase. As advertised by Dr. Green, I thought the point was to give us a 2.5% pay raise in the fall, and step increase in January 2019.

  89. @Educator, which scale was proposed by MAG in the Summer and approved by the board? The board approved some teacher salary schedules in the Summer and a bunch of schedules this past January.

  90. Hi Stan
    My understanding was the phase 2 scale you posted Dec.24 for Counselors, PT, OT, SLP with the bachelors degree included was originally approved by the board this past summer. There has been many pay schedules floating around and lots of noise around this pay debacle. That being said, the scale from the MAG study that was published this past summer.

    The currently Z scale is not accurate (there are employees with bachelors degrees) and thousands of dollars different then the scale for Counselors proposed from the study.

    Thank you for your service to this school system Stan!

  91. Smoke and Mirrors

    @ Educator is correct. The scale that was presented in December numbers are vastly different and Bachelors level is missing. Dekalb has several Bachelor level SLPs so if the pay is not listed how will they know what their salary is? It looks like the OT/PT/SLP s in the district will get the shaft. These folks have multiple schools with high caseloads and have to attend numerous meetings a year to support the children they serve. The MAG study proposed salary schedule should have definitely been implemented. These folks work hard for marginal pay. It is a severe shortage of SLPs and many have left this district because of the workload directly due to pay. The pay does not equal the workload. Therapist do not want to come to a district and have a caseload of 60+and travel between 2 and 3 schools per week for therapy, meetings, RTI among other things of which they are responsible for in each building that they are assigned.

  92. @ dekalbteacher— Compare the daily rate of the teacher and AP at the same level. For example, in my case, according to the new scale my daily rate as an AP is $392 as opposed to $363 as a teacher with the same number of years experience. That’s only 7.39% more than a teacher even though APs are scheduled to work 10.89% more.

    Keep in mind that this daily rate does not include duty that the AP MUST adhere to. For example, at my school, a middle school, at least one of the APs HAS to be present at all sporting events (which usually take place on the weekends and after regular work hours). We are also REQUIRED to chaperone all dances and wait for all students to be picked up (there is always at least one student left waiting).

    Additionally, we have assigned duty weeks where we HAVE to stay late for any after school activities. Now, I know you’re going to say that teachers stay late too— and they do, the difference is that they do so by choice, whereas APs do so by requirement.

    Instead of us trying to bring one another down, we should be working to lift up each other. What about the classified staff members who worked just as hard and are just as dedicated to the school as the certified staff? They too deserve more compensation. Everyone in the school house is important and contributes to the academic success of the students. None of us are any more special than the next. We are all dependent on one another to create a positive learning environment for all the students where parents feel good about leaving their students with “us”— all the staff members in the building.

    I agree, we are not getting what we deserve but that does not mean that some are getting MORE than they deserve. Please do not try to lessen someone else’s contribution when you do not have grounds.

  93. Hello @Educator.
    Ahhh … right … yeah, this is the beginning of the mess/confusion. In June the board passed the following agenda item:

    DeKalb Teachers Get a 2.5% Raise And Start Stepping
    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 . Phase II salary structure has not been approved by the board yet.

    … Soooooo … the question is … what are the “NEW Step Structures” they speak of? I was on top of HR to get me those new step structures and communicate them to the employees. They kept changing the schedules and would never update the employees. Then January rolled around.

  94. Stan
    I sent you a copy of the Dec. 24, phase 2 salary scale for OT/PT/SLP proposed by MAG study. I sent it to your gmail address as I had difficulty copying the pdf here.

    Phase II (DRAFT) -DCSD Teacher Pay Schedule 2018-2019 here you go, Stan.

  95. Thanks Stan!!

  96. There it is. It’s at the bottom of the doc. I was going through all the docs just now and didn’t scroll down on that one.

    Yes. That doc was presented as a draft in the June 26 board meeting. From the agenda item itself, it looks like that schedule was approved. In the meeting and in subsequent emails to me, they said this was just a draft and they would come back to us for approval of the schedules

  97. Stan
    My understanding in all this mess is that you were right…it was approved by the board and not a draft.

  98. Stan,
    When you requested input on your 2/12 post, it was for a called 2/13 board meeting (i assumed) to vote on the FAST FIX to the salary debacle. Was anything corrected? approved? or was it delayed for further work/discussion?

    I am one of those on the Counselor/OT/PT/SLP scale which does not have a Bachelors level and, I must say, the bottom of the salary scale (where I am) keeps going up/down and all around! Proposed scales end with Step 29, Step 25, Step 33…which impacts our retirement salary if no further steps! and with equally confusing salaries that are vastly different. All LESS than my current salary with the exception of the MAG study scale! The latest news Flash we received made it sound that all would now be paid on employee year of experience not stepped from where we have been frozen. The confusion is maddening!
    Thank you for keeping us informed.

  99. Hello @Dismayed,
    The docs attached to this blog were passed by the board on Wednesday. You should get communication about this by the end of next week.

    Experience to Step – First year teachers with no experience will be on Step 1. 2nd year teachers with 1 year full experience will be on step 2. A teacher with 10 full years experience will be on step 11, etc … this goes for existing employees and incoming employees.

  100. Stan, please correct the Z scale before anything goes out. It should reflect MAG study proposal which included a bachelors level. Thank you!

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