$3,000 – Teacher Raises Around Metro Atlanta

What are Metro Atlanta school districts doing about the $3,000 per teacher raise Governor Brian Kemp gave to all Georgia public school districts to pass along to their teachers?

DeKalb Teachers

Governor Kemp recently fulfilled one of his campaign promises by signing a budget which includes a $3,000 increase for teacher raises. Our finance department calculates including salary, benefits and pension contribution, it comes out to about $2,775 per teacher.

Dekalb Schools FY2020 Tentative Budget, presented a few weeks ago, did not include that raise for teachers. However, DeKalb Schools Board of Education members have been meeting with senior administrators over the last few days to figure out how to get that money into the hands of the teachers.

First let’s take a look at what the other school districts are doing.

Metro Atlanta Teacher Raises

Atlanta Public Schools (APS)
As of April 18, APS is considering two scenarios

Scenario 1 – Includes a $3,000 pay raise for teachers, 1.5% raise for instructional support, $3,000 one time payment for off-step employees, 1% increase for classified staff

Scenario 2 – Includes a $2,000 pay raise for teachers, $1,000 one time payment for off-step employees and 1% pay raise for staff

Cobb County School District
Cobb Schools budget includes an 8% to 12% raise for every non-temporary employee in the district.

Fulton County School District
In addition their regular step, the Fulton Schools proposed salary schedule indicates a $2,775 increase for teachers, principals, asst principals, media specialists, counselors, psychologists and social workers. It also includes a 3% increase for paras, bilingual parent liaisons, clinic aides, bus drivers, custodians and food service workers. 2% raise for all others.

Gwinnett County School District
All employees on the teacher salary schedule will receive a $3,000 raise in addition to their regular step increase. All other employees will see a 2% raise.

Clayton County School District
All employees on the teacher salary schedule will step and get a $2,775 increase. All other employees will step on schedule.

DeKalb Schools

The plan is for all DeKalb Schools employees on the teacher salary schedule to step and receive a $3,000 supplemental salary increase this coming school year. The salary schedule will not change, but the $3,000 supplemental salary will be on top of the current salary schedule.

Where is that money coming from?
We are trimming many of the growth items from the original FY2020 budget. 44 additional maintenance personnel has been trimmed back to 22 people. $2 million has been cut from the growth in transportation and fleet services. The additional $1 million in campus security originally in the FY2020 budget has been cut all together. We also cut or trimmed over $2 million for items like internal auditing, college and career strategic planning, summer school, and horizon schools,.

The rest of it will come from reserves. At this point, I expect FY2020 to take $21 million from our fund balance reserves leaving us with $83 million at the end of 2020 school year.

82 responses to “$3,000 – Teacher Raises Around Metro Atlanta

  1. Hi Stan
    What about Speech therapy, physical therapy, counselors? Will they get 3,000 raise?

  2. Stan Jester

    Governor Brian Kemp has given DeKalb Schools $22 million more this year than last year. That is basically enough for certified teachers employed on July 1 to get $2775. There are other employees paid on that scale that aren’t covered by the Governor’s funds. We are trying to implement this as the state requested in the most simple way possible. So, we are trying to make it $3,000 for all employees on the teacher salary schedule. The state didn’t cover anybody else.

  3. Brian Kemp’s plan was intended to include counselors, psychologists, etc. $2775 to all.

    The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved a $27.5 billion state budget for fiscal 2020 — which begins July 1 — that gives smaller raises to teachers but also spreads the pay hike to about 9,800 school psychologists, counselors, media specialists, social workers, speech and language pathologists, and instructional technologists.

  4. Can you post the new tentative budget please

  5. Hi,
    I still have not received an answer to date regarding who are the Lead Teachers addressed on the most current salary schedules?

    Also, Instructional Support Specialist are paid on the teacher scale, yet some ISS do more, or as much as the Assistant Principal’s in their buildings. Some ISS are past 20 years, and will not see a step in at least 2 years, this is so unfair. So, will ISS receive the 3000, since they are paid on the teacher salary scale?

    Also, there is a new cohort and positions formulating called Teacher & Coaching Support Specialist. Is this another name for Academic Coach? What salary scheduled will they be paid on?

  6. Stan Jester

    @Concerned, I don’t think The House Appropriations Committee passed that this passed Wednesday. Our finance office didn’t say anything about employees not on the teacher salary schedule.

    @Devon, we are unfortunately still going through that measly budget I posted earlier.

    @Kimi,
    I don’t have a lot of details just yet. I just know we are trying to get that money into the hands of employees on the teacher salary schedule.

  7. Stan,
    The budget published on May 6 has reserves of $89 Million. Now you say that reserves will be about $83 Million.

    You write that $6.5 Million has been trimmed ($1.5 Million from halving the maintenance personnel item, $2 Million from growth in transportation and fleet services, $1 Million in campus security, and $2 million for items like internal auditing, college and career strategic planning, summer school, and horizon schools).

    So $6.5 Million was trimmed AND another $6 Million is needed from reserves?

    Doesn’t the BOE policy say there should be 5% – 7% in reserves? If reserves are down to $83 Million, isn’t that just 4.2%, or not even 1 month of operating expenses?

    I want to give the teachers the raise that was intended. I just don’t understand why this, and apparently other things, require dipping into reserves by $21 Million!!

    If there’s a good reason, then I wish the Administration would explain it. But I haven’t found that ‘good reason’ yet. Thanks, Stan, for any light you can shed on this.

    And don’t get me started on trimming funds from Internal Audit. Based on the FY17 DCSD Audit report from the State, and the Procurement Assessment results, I would think that this is the last place to take money from.

  8. Anonymous, I think trimming Internal Auditing is appropriate since they didn’t do their jobs. The money should be spent for Independent Auditing. Stan, has their been further discussion about putting all the construction on hold? It’s time to stop the “band-aid” approach. New construction can be seen all over Districts 1 & 2 that is not reflected in school attendance projections. DeKalb schools are not creating community by building 900 seat elementary schools and 3000 seat high schools. There is so much more a small community school can do to support student achievement. I don’t see attempts to create giant schools in our lower achieving communities across DeKalb. I just see that they receive more resources. Hmmm

  9. Tamara WATKINS

    Clarify please. To receive 3,000 as supplemental income sounds as though it is a one time(this year only) event–meaning there truly isn’t a $3,000 raise, more like a bonus.(?)

  10. Stan Jester

    @Anonymous, There are about 26 items the administration originally asked to add this year … AKA “growth items”. We have been revisiting those and cutting. The ones I listed were the big ticket items.

    Why do we have record revenues and are still dipping into the fund balance reserves? I’m incredulous as well. We are adding and supporting all these programs. Government is a leviathan that seeks to promote its own self-interests and grow. I’m surrounded by people that want to harness big government to alleviate our social ills.

    @Cathy, Unless we get that bond, numerous construction projects are on hold. I most recently listed those projects here, Options To Address E-SPLOST Budget Issues

    @Tamara, Good question. You are correct. There are two big reasons why we are not making this permanent.
    1. This is our first round with the new Governor. We are not sure if his budget increase is permanent.
    2. TSA case should be settled by the end of the year. That’s potentially $100 million the school district could have to pay out.

  11. mike pastirik

    Good day Mr. Jester.

    I am a teacher in the Dekalb County School System – an experienced (older – kindly put, old – not so kindly put!) teacher. I could use the money intended by the Governor as a raise. I could also use a step increase, and a fair settlement to the TSA issue. With this written, and knowing that there are many other issues affecting the county requiring proper financing, may I ask you to speculate a bit? Where do you see us (the school system) financially in one, two, and five years? Are we financially viable? Will we have the resources necessary to attract and to keep the talent necessary to successfully teach our children – to help them reach their potential? Will the infrastructure needs be met, etc.?

    The search will (or has begun) begin for a new superintendent. As the board delves into the process, I wonder if searching for the ideal candidate will be fruitful. Why not a simple teacher? I have now seen several high-profile and degreed people struggle with the position. I accept being superintendent of schools is a difficult, demanding, and often a thankless job. I think that the board should consider an individual simple (in the sense of direct), informed, honorable, transparent, and accepting of the present condition who can foresee and work for a better future for all. An individual is out there, and probably a number of them! We just might have to accept that they
    do not look the part.

    Be well. mike p

  12. Stan Jester

    @CeeGee, Other than a national search process, how do you suggest procuring our next Superintendent?

    @Mike, Good question. DeKalb Schools has one of the highest salaries in the Metro Atlanta area. I believe we will be able to continue to fill open positions in the school house. Given our record breaking revenues, I find it difficult to believe we are not financially viable. Granted … we obviously are having problems with financial restraint.

    Diamond in the Rough – Picking a diamond in the rough will be challenging. DeKalb Schools already has a hard time hiring qualified people for high level central office staff … our track record isn’t so good. Looking for a diamond in the rough might be a risk we are not willing to take. I doubt the board could agree on any one person with minimum qualifications coming in and taking charge.

  13. Concerned Teacher

    Ok Stan. How can I put your name in the pot for Superintendent? I think you are qualified. You know the system. I believe that you will go in and fight for the students and teachers. And , I would like to think you will know how to trim all that unnecessary FAT that’s in the Dekalb County School System.

    STAN for Superintendent!!!

  14. Barbara Fountain

    One more year! I know there has to be a experienced who is white and could straightened this mess out. We have gone with minority all these years to no avail, let’s give a white guy a chance, PLEASE, pretty PLEASE. I think your smart wife could do the job in a short period of time.I WISH IWISH,

  15. DSW2Contributor

    Stan,
    We don’t need another disaster from out-of-state, so I think the next search should be limited to candidates that have held Georgia teaching and educational leadership certifications for ten or more years.

    We have also learned from the last few searches that the search firms and school board have no idea what it really takes to be a superintendent. The candidates should be screened by a panel of the successful Georgia superintendents (Wilbanks, Carstarphen, Beasley, etc.) before they get interviewed by the school board.

  16. Stan Jester

    Interesting idea … getting input from successful Superintendents.

  17. @Kimi,
    Lead Teachers are Lead Teachers for Special Education. This is a teacher however, you must have an administration certification and at least a master’s degree.

  18. Barbara Fountain I am with you. Nothing against having an African-American run the school system, but in Dekalb it seems to be an ideal place for wasting of money, hiring incompetent people, top heavy county office, and overall miss management when they have had the reins. We have tried that and it has not worked out for anyone… Oh wait, yes it has those in county office who have lined their pockets on the backs of students and teachers.

    When Freeman and Halford(sp) where in charge , I do not remember the system being such a mess. Things got accomplished, buildings were not falling a part, principals were competent (Who would go on Social Media and see a teacher and invite her to his/her school? We can all make ourselves look and sound good on that platform.), students were learning, and the morale(at least mine) was high.

    Just because whites are in the minority does not mean a white person cannot run the system. Please let’s go that route this time.

  19. Kirk Lunde

    The superintendent of schools needs to have a teaching certificate. I may be wrong, but I don’t believe either Stan or Nancy have one.

    The reason Thurmond got by without one was it was an extraordinary situation and everyone looked the other way until he filed all of his paperwork. I think they granted him a provisional one based on his JD, not on any education experience.

  20. concerned citizen

    Stan can get a teaching certificate right smart! Let’s do the right thing and get Stan Jester for Superintendent. We will see competence like we haven’t seen in many years. Oh, and by the way, I disagree that Freeman and Hallford were competent. Oh, if you only knew of their profound corruption and the daily life inside the palace. There are many employees and ex-employees who could tell you the real niddy-griddy and it’s not pretty or acceptable. But, never mind. We’ve got Stan.

  21. Really, “lets hire a white to get this straightened out”. Nice way to put racial demographics into the situations. That is totally inappropriate and uncalled for. Hiring someone white does not mean that they will come and save the day from a minority run system. This is a systemic issue of hiring people who talk a good game and may have the resume but do not follow through. There are plenty of people of color who are competent and can run a system efficiently and effectively. Please do not say such rhetoric again it is inappropriate on this forum and unacceptable.

  22. I agree with @nonsense. These are racist statements and inappropriate. We need a competent person to run DCSD.

  23. The Board should at least consider what sort of statement they are making if they decide to use $21 MILLION in reserves in a year where enrollment is stable and revenue is up.

    What would Dr. Green’s successor think of that?

    Maybe she/he would think, oh boy, DCSD will be an ATM and a blank check for whatever I want to do.

    Or they may consider this yet another signal to stay away from DCSD.

  24. Stan, Kirk and anyone else ,

    Does anyone have any thoughts about why there has been such a turn over in the leadership in the special education department? It is very hard to find qualified special education teachers.
    Also in Georgia a high school special education teacher has to take the same content area GACE test that a subject area teacher has to take. For example,if you teach a high school special education math class, you must pass the same math GACE that a math teacher must pass. If you are able to do that, then you can add math to your teaching certificate and be qualified to teach math.
    Is DeKalb being proactive in trying to retain and hire well qualified special education teachers?

  25. One big reason….many lawyers county wide making special education staff and team miserable. No support! Really horrible situation for all IEP members

  26. Concerned Educator

    Mr. Jester, in fact, the Georgia Legislature did include ALL certified educators in the final bill that was signed by the Governor. That means all Speech/Language Pathologists who are employees of the school system, and are, therefore, certified educators, are included in the $3000 salary increase. Your failure to include them would be a violation of the law. Would it not?

  27. And physical/occupational therapist are considered certified staff. The bylaws say certified/license.

  28. Stan Jester

    Why do you say it’s “ ALL certified educators”? There’s nothing in state law that says how this money must be spent.

  29. Stan Jester

    John Evans has come before the board and publicly asked that we hire more black people. While I don’t believe race should be a factor, I’m also a fan of the First Amendment.

  30. Racist comments should not be tolerated on this blog or in the Board room.

  31. CONCERNED EDUCATOR

    The money was allocated for ALL certified educators. The purpose of the legislation was to be a down payment on the $5000 teacher pay raise that Governor Kemp promised during the election. Initially, SLP’s, and others, were excluded, but organizations e.g. GOSSLP and PAGE explained to the law makers that SLP’s, PT’s, OT’s, etc. were also required to be certified if they were employees of the school system. The House then suggested that the amount provided would have to be lowered to $2775 in order to be able to include those that I listed. However, thank God, right before the final bill was voted on, the legislators decided to provide a pay raise of $3000 instead of $2775 to all certified educators, including Speech/Language Pathologists, et al. So, if you say that the law does not say how the money can be spent, are you saying that Georgia’s certified teachers are being duped by the legislature? Because to me, it is very clear how the legislature wanted the funds to be allocated.

  32. Tamara WATKINS

    Stan, that TSA payout you spoke of…is that for all employees or those involved in the suit?

  33. Stan Jester

    Racist Comments – Our society needs to have a constructive conversation about race. Censoring the conversation, abridging the freedom of speech, I don’t believe is healthy or constructive. To borrow from MLK Jr., I hope that DeKalb will one day be a county where a Superintendent will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

  34. I do not think what was posted is a healthy discussion about race. It was racist and inappropriate and should not be tolerated on this blog.

  35. Still Dismayed

    If teachers receive any amount of the governor approved $3000 raise (and I pray they do) BUT counselors, OT, PT, SLPs, etc. are not included, then we are once again getting the shaft. About 10 years ago we were moved from a separate ‘therapist’ schedule to the ‘teachers’ schedule with associated pay cuts. Many therapists left the district for other school systems or went back to work in healthcare settings. We have now been moved back to a ‘counselor’ schedule and steps at the bottom of the scale were removed…thus those near the bottom of the ‘teachers’ schedule are now off the ‘counselors’ schedule and have no more steps to take. When many received raises in Jan 2019, those that were moved and are now off the scale in years of service, did not receive a raise. We did not receive an explanation from HR or even an email with the new ‘counselor’ salary schedule attached.
    Now, if what Stan is implying actually occurs, it sounds like those on the ‘counselor’ schedule will not receive the governor’s raise intended for all certified staff. I agree with @Concerned Educator, it was very clear that the final legislation re: the $3000 included counselors and therapists. If DCSS chooses not to include that group, who predominantly support the Special Education department and were conveniently moved off the ‘teachers’ schedule, they will find themselves losing staff again!

  36. Stan Jester

    Can you give me a link that makes it clear that the final legislation included counselors and therapists?

  37. Stan Jester

    Thank you. I’ll find out why we are only doing this for the teacher salary schedule when … “The House budget would raise salaries for teachers by $2,775, but it extends that pay raise to more than 9,000 other certified employees including psychologists, counselors, social workers and special education specialists.”

  38. Still Dismayed

    “HB 31 includes a $3,000 pay raise for certified teachers and certified personnel, including counselors, social workers, psychologists, special education specialists, speech and language pathologists, media specialists and technology specialists starting July 1, 2019. The pay raise maintains one state salary schedule for certified teachers and certified employees, as stated in Georgia Code. The $3,000 pay raise is reflected in all Department of Education programs where funds for certified teachers and certified employees are earned on the state salary schedule, including $522.1 million for the Quality Basic Education (QBE) Program and $7.7 million for programs outside of QBE, specifically Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Supports (GNETS), Preschool Disabilities Services, Residential Treatment Facilities, State Schools, and Extended Day and Extended Year programs in agriculture and technology/career education. HB 31 also includes $2.8 million to provide bus drivers, lunch room workers, and school nurses a 2% pay raise.”

  39. Stan Jester

    As you might imagine, the DeKalb Schools BOE is struggling with these numbers as well. Here are some interesting numbers that I will need to circle back around with our CFO to square….

    * BOE is told by senior administration there is $22 million in QBE growth
    * BOE is told by senior administration it will cost $28 million to implement $3,000 salary increase for employees on teacher salary schedule

    One of our board members has been doing a really good job hunting down info from the state. The state DOE says …
    1. DCSD FTE numbers have gone from 100,648 for FY19 to 99,837 for FY20
    2. That FTE drop is the reason for a large drop in QBE funding
    3. However, the school district was given an extra $35 million from the state to give to the teachers
    4. Furthermore, the state DOE says …

    the salary increase is funded to account for the total cost of the increase as related to earned certificated positions for each district, and it does in fact include the related FICA and TRS costs. So the state has funded the total cost created by increasing the base teacher salary and all other salary schedule rates by $3,000.

  40. Stan,
    Let’s do a little math.
    If it costs $28 million to implement $3000 salary increases for every DCSD employee on the teacher salary schedule, then DCSD must have 9333 employees on the teacher salary schedule.

    ($28,000,000)/($3000/employee) = 9333 employees on the teacher salary schedule.

    I thought that DCSD had around 6000 teachers. So do we really have 3000 counselors, speech pathologists, psychologists, social workers, and special education specialists?

    Does DCSD really have a certified support person for every two classroom teachers? Maybe that’s true in some clusters but certainly not in my neighborhood.

    Wow, that’s a lot of wraparound services.

    Now let’s look at it from the enrollment angle. DCSD has 99,837 FTE.

    What’s the average class size? Well,
    (99,837 students)/(6000 teachers) = 17 students/teacher

    It’s hard to believe that’s true. Again, maybe that’s true in some clusters but not in my neighborhood.

    Now maybe my math is rusty, so I’m hoping that someone will correct this if it’s wrong. But the numbers just don’t add up.

  41. Thank you Anonymous. Administration is hoping teachers are too dumb and gullible to figure out the math. I find this sad. Certified staff are having to prove they should get the raise? Of course they should get the 3,000! They shouldn’t have to bring the information to the BOE that they are part of the raise. But it looks like you certified staff are going to have to fight for everything coming to you so keep the heat on them until you see the 3,000. Keep talking to the AJC as well! I read the Maureen Downey is particularly hearing from Dekalb County School employees.

  42. Tamara WATKINS

    By stating, let’s get a white person in to do the job is inherently a racist remark. In essence, you’re stating ONLY a white person can “fix” this. Nothing about that statement invites conversation. And, to encourage by referencing the 1st ammendment is utterly rediculous.

  43. Stan Jester

    I don’t think it’s a good idea to judge people based on race. It’s unfortunate when people say black people need black leaders. See … we’re having a conversation.

    I also don’t believe calling people racists and shutting them down is a good idea. That is how we got to where we are now. We have to be able to talk about race.

  44. I like the idea posted above about having a few successful superintendents pick the next DeKalb superintendent. Let’s get the top 5 superintendents in the state to form a search committee and let them make a recommendation. That has the potential to change things in DeKalb.

  45. Stan as the monitor of your blog you should not allow hateful, racist statements on this blog. There was nothing healthy about their statements.

  46. Stan Jester

    Educator, We have to have a conversation about race. We can’t tell racists to sit down and shut up. We must engage each other … talk to each other. Censorship is not the American way.

    Educator, Is there something you would like to say to people who would like to have a white Superintendent? Would the same go for people who want a black Superintendent?

  47. Concerned Educator

    Thank you @Still Dismayed! You ROCK!!! Now, Stan, it is time for you and the other BOE members to, finally, do the right thing, and include ALL certified educators in the $3000 pay raise, as the Georgia legislature intended. Then, you all will see that, not only will DCSD be able to maintain their teacher numbers (regular and special education), but DCSD will also be able to increase said numbers, with its BOE having shown itself to be “honest brokers” when it comes to ALL of its certified staff.

  48. You can not have a complex conversation about race on a blog. As far as far as a superintendent, I want a qualified professional who has the competence, vision, integrity, and passion to do this job well. The race of the superintendent applicant is not my focus or concern. My concern is getting the right person who can do the job. I have been on search committees before and never did we discuss the race.

  49. Stan Jester

    Can’t have a complex conversation about race on a blog … that’s a cop-out. Perhaps a blog is the perfect place … people can express themselves without fear of personal judgement or retaliation.

    I agree with the characteristics that you are looking for in our next Superintendent.

    Race & Search Committee – It’s a common expression in DeKalb, “Black children need black leaders.” When Nancy was on the school board doing a Superintendent search, the board asked to see pictures of the candidates. I’m not sure if that was sexist, ageist, racist, … or what. I believe the last Superintendent Search Committee had John Evans on it … that speaks for itself …

    I found the video of John Evans speaking to the Board of Education … followed by an applause from the crowd ..

    “we can never be sure blacks are going to be represented. We want to make it clear that we are expecting that process to work.

    If you know you don’t have all the ingredients, you have to do something to make it work. The makeup of this board and the makeup of this county almost demands that we have good representation from black law firms. We are not talking about who, what or where, but we are certainly talking about having some. I think you all understand what I mean.

    If we don’t do it, nobody else is going to do it. If we have control and we don’t use it, nobody else is going to work it out for us. We have to take what we have and mandate that we want some black firms in that process. I know that realistically that in a normal straight forward bid process we won’t make it. I know we won’t make it. So, we’re asking that those believe in doing the right thing to make sure that the ingredient of black law firms is involved in the process.

  50. Still Dismayed

    Thank you, @Concerned Educator. Please pass the word to all stake holders (employees and DeKalb taxpayers, of which I am both) to write respectful emails to all board members to express concern re: the proposed budget that does not include the raise for ALL certified staff. Remember that very few read this blog and most are unaware of the proposed budget that does not include the Governor’s raise even for the teachers. And thank you, Stan…without this blog, we would really be blind to the continued chaos and dysfunction.

  51. Still Dismayed

    I don’t know who John Evans is…or what race/religion/color he is. I don’t go into the 15-20 schools that I serve every week and think about the race/religion/ethnicity of the students that I serve. I am a healthcare professional and the color of someone’s skin is SO irrelevant to me! I think about the disability and the lack of resources and the quality of education. I wonder if the children that I serve have enough food to eat. I wish there was soap in the school restrooms so the children could learn/practice good hygiene. I worry about guns in the schools and whether we are all safe. I would like a clean office with updated computers/printers to do my documentation at the end of the day. I would like to know that my salary might actually increase with the cost of living and won’t get cut from year to year (what other employer does that?). I do not care what color our superintendent is….I just want him/her to be ethical and to care about the students and employees of DCSS and to spend the taxpayers money wisely and in a way that benefits those it is intended to benefit. Is this too much to ask?

  52. @still dismayed. Thank you. Well said! I agree 100%.

  53. @ Stan…we will have to agree to disagree.

  54. Stan Jester

    Hello Joy. There are no strings attached to the money. The state raised the funding for the school districts and asked them to give it to the certified employees. School districts across the state are implementing it in different amounts and different ways as you can see from my original post.

  55. DSW2Contributor

    Stan, above “Anonymous” made this calculation:
    ($28,000,000)/($3000/employee) = 9333 employees on the teacher salary schedule.
    Is that bad math?

    I assume it costs more than $3000 to raise an employee’s take-home pay by $3000 since you also have to budget money for corresponding increase in benefits. For example, if the salary goes up, the amount set aside for retirement contributions also has to go up because that is a function of salary.

    My understanding is that you and the other board members are caught between a rock and a hard place: the state gave funding for a one-time $3000/salary increase per employee, but is not funding the increased cost of benefits that the salary increase triggers.

  56. Stan
    Thank you for providing information about this issue as well as others. It is appreciated.

  57. Concerned Educator

    Stan,
    I just twitted the Governor and Georgia Legislature. I am very interested in learning what they think of the way the school systems are allocating the $3000 pay increase.

  58. dekalbteacher

    DSW2 Contributor,

    Where are you seeing 9,333 employees on teacher schedule?
    The ODE newsletter says 6,089 teacher contracts were given and 5,957 were returned.

  59. dekalbteacher,
    Stan wrote that DCSD is saying that it will cost $28,000,000 to give teachers/certificated employees the $3000 raise.

    So I just did some math: ($28,000,000)/($3000/employee) = 9333 employees.

    I was pretty sure this was way too high, which you have just confirmed.

    So let’s look at this another way.

    ($28,000,000)/(6000 employees) = $4666 per employee.

    So DCSD is saying that it will cost $4666 per employee to give the $3000 per employee raise.

    I think the truth is probably that DCSD has so many more certificated employees — NOT CLASSROOM TEACHERS! — but other folks who are not funded per the QBE funds and “support” classroom teachers.

    Or perhaps something else is going on. I was just trying to make the numbers work. And they don’t.

  60. I’m curious what is driving the $28,000,000 cost. Is this for all 6,000 teachers or additional staff? It seems like health benefits wouldn’t increase and DCSD doesn’t pay into social security. 2% for the retirement match and then whatever the additional pay requires in TRS contributions are the only things I’m coming up with off the top of my head.

    According the the $28m estimate, benefit increases are an additional 55% of the base pay. How?

  61. Stan Jester

    Salary & Benefits – As a point of reference – A teacher making $56K in salary will cost an additional $20K in benefits including TRS contributions.

  62. Still Dismayed

    Stan’s earlier post from another BOE member stating $35 million GIVEN which DOES include the cost of TRS, etc. Senior admin stating need $28 million to implement the $3000 raise. $7 million difference going???

    “3. However, the school district was given an extra $35 million from the state to give to the teachers
    4. Furthermore, the state DOE says …
    the salary increase is funded to account for the total cost of the increase as related to earned certificated positions for each district, and it does in fact include the related FICA and TRS costs. So the state has funded the total cost created by increasing the base teacher salary and all other salary schedule rates by $3,000.”

  63. That sounds very reasonable – $20k of benefits on $55k of salary. Benefits account for an additional 35% above base pay. This seems very plausible as teachers have a robust retirement package compared to other industries. However, 35% is way less than 55%. And while benefits account for an additional 35% of base pay, it’s not variable with pay. The biggest portion of the benefits is the healthcare package. I’d guess somewhere between $10k is healthcare. I can see where the retirement portion as it reflects base pay would increase, but it is only a portion of the $20k.

  64. The $22m increase in QBE funding would reflect $3,666 per employee if there are 6,000 teachers. That reflects benefits of 22%. That seems very reasonable as healthcare benefits is already accounted for.

    I don’t understand how it would be $28m if we are talking about giving a raise to 6,000 teachers only.

  65. Stan Jester

    It’s everybody on the teacher salary schedule. I believe we have 6,500(ish) teachers and 7,000+ on the teacher salary schedule … don’t quote me on those numbers.

  66. Concerned Educator

    But Stan, after being on the teacher salary schedule for years, the BOE removed SLP’s, OT’s, PT’s, etc. from the teacher salary schedule, and placed them on the “Counselor Schedule.” That means that your plan to ONLY give the $3000 pay raise to those on the “teacher schedule” will exclude certified educators on the “counselor schedule.” As you know from the information that @Still Dismayed provided you, that is NOT what the Governor, nor the legislature, mandated. Can you honestly say that this is fair? SLP’s, alone, bring in a great deal of federal dollars to the school system, since almost every special needs student, in addition to his/her primary exceptionality, also requires speech impaired services.

  67. Stan Jester

    Concerned Educator, I’m seeking clarity from the Superintendent and CFO … how much money did the state give us to increase salaries and who do they believe it was intended for? It seems clear the State intended this to go to certified school house employees.

  68. Concerned Educator

    Every SLP, WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE SCHOOL SYSTEM, is, indeed, a school-based employee, and is eligible for the pay raise. I mentioned that the organization, GOSSLP, which stands for the Georgia Organization of School-Based Speech Language Pathologists, was one of the organizations instrumental in explaining to the legislators that school-system employed SLP’s, OT’s, PT’s, etc., were also Georgia certified educators and should not be left out of the teacher pay raise. These legislators then included all of the other certified educators, which includes SLP’s, in the pay raise. I watched the legislators say this on the WSB evening news. They also agreed that the raise should be $3000 instead of the $2775 that the House recommended.

    Please do not think that I am not grateful for your efforts, because I am. I am just one who firmly believes that in any conflict, when the truth is introduced and acted upon, it will bring about positive change for all those involved.

    Thanks, again, for all your effort.

  69. Mr. Jester.

    I have put a link to the news story related to the DCSD financial report done by the state. I think it has been posted on your site before. Part of the concern that I feel as an educator, is that DeKalb has not been careful in managing their finances. Do the schools get audited? If money is missing, what happens? How do we vet vendors to make sure that we are getting the best price and the best services. Who monitors the use of the PCards?
    I know that you have been stating that DeKalb needs an independent auditor. So now there are questions about the money promised to educators by the governor. If DeKalb had been more careful with its money, would we be in a better shape to pass on these funds to the employees?
    In the video posted, there is a comment that Dekalb had a private auditing company that did not do a good job. When the rasies got done incorrectly, that was also the fault of some other company.
    At what point does the school system leadership take responsiblity for things not being done correctly?

    https://www.ajc.com/video/local-video/new-state-report-slams-financial-management-dekalb-county-schools/IMLqa5jPBiJbFtzKucqKOK/

  70. Tamara WATKINS

    Good try @stan with the John Evans clip. You totally missed it. By no way did the speaker demand a particular race to be “given” anything other than representation, ie a chance/opportunity for their bid to be taken seriously. The remarks made here eliminated nonwhites from the Super position.

  71. Stan Jester

    Watch it again.

  72. There are School Board Members that need to step Down not Stan Jester
    Stan Jester the only one I can trust. Maby ask Cobb County Supertendent for
    Help Balance Budget

  73. School Board members in South Dekalb not speaking up I wonder why Stan Jester
    The only one speaking up I am a black American thank u Stan Jester it is time for a white school
    Supertendent because they will not have my cousin or my mother or brother work for
    Dekalb for years and they will help me get a job with the school system yes I said it someone white

  74. concerned citizen

    Stan Jester for Super! What do people need to do to make it happen? Does Stan need to “apply” for the job? If he needs the nomination and appointment of the Board, I hope that they won’t block Stan because he often had to not go with their terrible ideas. I hope that they can overcome any negative attitudes that they have for Stan, if they do think of him in a bad way. Look at his contributions, and he doesn’t make a dime! Look at the broad perspective he shows and the depth of his understanding of how this school system should work. He will be the best supt we ever had in DeKalb, including Jim Cherry.

  75. Stan Jester

    You’ll need to talk to and email the other board members with your suggestion.

  76. Still Dismayed

    Stan, any update on including all certified staff in raise?

    “HB 31 includes a $3,000 pay raise for certified teachers and certified personnel, including counselors, social workers, psychologists, special education specialists, speech and language pathologists, media specialists and technology specialists starting July 1, 2019…”

  77. Stan Jester

    @StillDismayed, The Superintendent attended maybe 75% of the graduation ceremonies. No update on the $3,000 certified staff raise. I asked the CFO a few questions early last week. I’ll ask him again right now. I’m somewhat dismayed that we are passing a budget in a few weeks and this is where we are.

  78. Concerned Educator

    Stan, knowing that APS (as well as other school systems) is not going to give their teachers the full $3000 raise, if DCSD BOE were smart, they would abide by HB31 and provide the full raise; and then, use that as a recruiting tool. I am sure many more teachers would consider DCSD more attractive than other systems for that very reason. Of course, the opposite could happen should DCSD refuse to abide by HB31.

    Thank you, @Still Dismayed, for staying on top of this issue.

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