Category Archives: Teachers

$3,000 Raise – Q&A With The CFO

Chief Financial Officer Michael Bell answers a few questions we have regarding the $3,000 raise for certified employees.

DeKalb Schools CFO Michael Bell

Dr. Michael Bell
Dekalb Schools Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Q1: Did the state give us funding for $2,775 or $3,000 per employee?

The State raised all salary slots on the State Salary Schedule by $3,000 and has given us $3,000 for all earned certified teachers, school counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, media specialists, special education specialists, and technology specialists.

Q2: Who did the state give us extra funding for? Did they give us funding for all certified employees including psychologists, counselors, social workers and special education specialists?

Language from HB31:
Increase funds to adjust the state base salary schedule to increase salaries for certified teachers and certified staff by $3,000, including a $3,000 increase for school counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, media specialists, special education specialists, and technology specialists effective July 1, 2019.

Note: These increases are for employees the State considers “earned.”

Q3: FTE is going from 100,648 for FY19 to 99,837 for FY20. What kind of savings are we going to realize due to this reduction in provided services? Where is this reflected in the budget?

There have been no imputed savings in the FY2020 Budget based upon the projected FTE decline, assuming a reduction in provided services. It should be noted that FY2020 is the fourth year of projected FTE declines.

Q4: The state DOE says our QBE funds were bumped up by $35 million for the $3,000 increase in teacher salaries. Is that true?

Not that we can ascertain. Our QBE growth for FY2020 is presently $22,092,701; this could indicate that we have already experienced QBE decline based upon FTE decline.
If the state used the same funding formula as last year, would we have received $35 million less due to the reduction in FTE?

Based upon the assumption in your question, yes. However, the State seldom uses the same monetary value for base FTE, (9 thru 12 1.00).

Q5: Seems like the state would work on allotments.

They do not. They work on FTE for most positions and an allotment system for other necessary positions.

Q5 Continued: Is the state funding dependent on how many employees are employed with the school district?

No, except for T&E and health insurance.

Q6: When can we expect to see a detailed budget?

The 36-page document (Tentative Budget) has been distributed on 6/3/19. After the Tentative Budget is acted upon (6/10/19), pending any changes, we will produce the 2100 page detailed FY2020 Budget by 6/13/19.

Q7: We are talking about supplemental salaries for all employees on the teacher salary schedule.

Did the state increase funding enough for psychologists, counselors, social workers and sped specialists? All over the AJC I find statements that say … “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.”

What are your thoughts?

The State gave funding for all EARNED certified employees which includes the groups mentioned in your email. However, we employ significantly more employees than the State considers “earned.”

-Dr. Michael Bell

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Q&A Between Marshall Orson and Michael Bell

Orson: How do we lose 128 teachers based on a reduction of just 800 students?

Bell: We lost QBE funding in an amount that translates to 128 teachers. This amount varies based on the dollar values associated with each category of FTE (ie gifted vs. general). This reduction is due to the reduction of overall FTEs.

Orson: Am I reading correctly that we are receiving a net addl $25 million and change (once we figure additions due to the budget increase and subtractions due to smaller allotments)?

Bell: FY2020 Additional QBE Funding – $22,092,201

RELATED POSTS

$3,000 – Teacher Raises Around Metro Atlanta
May 25, 2019 – 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 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.

$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.