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BOE proposes no pay raises for teachers

Tension arose from several Clayton County Public School teachers in a public hearing on Monday, as the board of education informed the boisterous crowd they are keeping teacher salaries the same for the 2012-13 budget fiscal year.

“It’s been four of five years since teachers got a raise,” said Pam Adamson, chairperson for the Clayton County Board of Education. “We wish we could give teachers a raise, believe me we do, but we just don’t have the funding to do so.”

The proposed teacher annual salary schedule for the 2012-2013 school year, will operate on a 185-day calendar year, and projections for the next five years don’t reflect an increase in teacher salaries. Because of continual economic woes, a shrinking or stagnant tax digest, and expected cuts in federal and state funds, Adamson said that the decision was made to help the district deal with an estimated $40 million budget shortfall over the next three years.

However, during Monday’s public hearings held throughout the day, many teachers felt as though the news was worse — that they were receiving a pay cut. Adamson, a retired teacher, said that isn’t the case.

“I’m not sure where teachers are getting the information the pay is getting cut. It’s not; it’s staying the same,” said Adamson.

Sid Chapman of the Clayton County Education Association, who was present at Monday’s public hearing to speak on behalf of the teachers in the district, said the board of education is being deceitful when it comes to how teachers are being paid in the county.

“You have the money that state gives and the district has to pay the rest of the money,” said Chapman. “What the board has done was reduce the supplement so that pay has been the [same] for teacher for four years.”

Chapman added with the reduction in the supplement is almost like teachers are getting a pay cut in their salaries.

Wanda Anderson, a math teacher at Kendrick Middle School, said she was suppose to receive a pay increase, once she received her master’s degree certificate. However, she told board members that her paychecks were not reflecting that.

“Once I moved up in my certification, I was supposed to see a $600 increase in my salary after teaching 16 years,” said Anderson. “Currently, I’m in between two certifications and $300 was taken from the top [of my pay check]. I’m still making the same amount I was making even after moving up in my certification.”

Lonita Collier, director of business services for the district, said in her opinion there’s a misunderstanding with the teachers in the county. “Many of the teachers do not attend the board meeting so, they are not aware of what’s going on.”

Collier said when teachers move up in their certifications, increases will not be reflected in their paychecks until the next school year.

School Board member Jessie Goree told the media that they board could give teachers pay raise if the multimillion-dollar contract with the Clayton County Sheriff's Office to provide student resource officers, was eliminated.

Another teacher for the school system, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, said teachers are already being overworked and underpaid.

“It’s ridiculous,” said the veteran teacher. “We already have to pay for own supplies and with the cost of living increasing, it’s becoming more and more difficult. As teachers, we do a lot for the our students and this school system. We deserve a pay raise.”

Some of Clayton County Superintendent Edmond Heatley’s other proposed reductions, and how much they are expected to save, include: Eliminating eight positions in safety and security, and restructuring the School Resource Officer contract ($1.6 million); eliminating two positions in Human Resources ($331,551); eliminating four positions in professional learning ($887,508); and adding five instructional days to the school-year calendar ($15.4 million).

The board is expected to make a final vote on the budget June 25.

Comments

Lynn 1 year, 10 months ago

We still "believe" this school board or any agency associated with our education? We always hear it is about the children yet we continue to get cuts on federal, state and local levels, we always hear the cuts will be done with openess and fairness yet when asked to see more information or where to get it no one can produce it or it is ignored, we always hear about how teachers are affected yet the union is made up of more than just teachers. Why does the budget show cuts in areas except the transportation department? Why is the board messing up a good program like Nutrition Services who makes money for the system? After going to a several meetings it seems to me that the school board has no knowlwdge of the departments Dr. Heatly recommends for reduction, may a little homework on their part, no wait if they do that they may be reprimanded by Dr Heatly and his staff

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GATeach08 1 year, 10 months ago

If the teachers aren't getting pay increases, Dr. Heatley most certainly should not be accepting any bonuses! Heatley needs to take a page out of Fresno Superintendent Larry Powell's book. Powell took a salary cut ($800,000) to put the money back into the budget. Keep in mind, the teachers are the ones who are doing all of the work! There are larger classes, less pay, teachers pay for their own supplies, have less support, and student behavior is getting worse because administrators are encouraged not to suspend students. Keeping attendance numbers high for AYP purposes appears to be far more important. When teachers figure out this scam the board and Heatley are running, they are going to pay royally. I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't a mass walkout at the beginning of the year. You may be able to retaliate against a handful of teachers, but you won't be able to handle all teachers walking out! This district is ruined as long as the top gets to do whatever they want. More and more parents are running to other counties, and the best teachers are leaving in search of more money/better jobs, or leaving the education profession altogether. This system is a mess! The board and Heatley really need to get it together! 

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MD 1 year, 10 months ago

Well the way I see it is these are very hard times. I have not had a raise in at least four years, and no friends of mine have either. As a matter of fact we are lucky to even have a job. When the economy recovers, teachers should be one of the first to get raises. In Clayton County however,you may be in for the long run! This county shows no signs of getting better(economy wise) for years years to come. That is not good, because if the tax base does not grow, salaries will be flat here. BUT! You can make a difference! Get your friends and neighbors out and VOTE for qualified people who will work to get business here, and get Clayton County a good name again, so it can recover. The current leadership in this county could care less if it ever recovers. They are high on power, and your tax dollars!Put them out of office, but only after you vote for QUALIFIED replacements. Don't reward politicians who have disgraced the county, by re-elected them.

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MD 1 year, 10 months ago

I do think that taxpayers should be paying for school supplies, not the teachers. That should stop immediately!

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gubment_watcher 1 year, 10 months ago

Teachers do you think HEATLEY will get a bonus this year?? He and the board are doing such a good job. RIGHT!!!!!

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OscarKnight 1 year, 10 months ago

...This is what happens when a county becomes nothing but a Dust Bowl of failed businesses, home foreclosures, uncontrolled crime rates, and dysfunctional elected officials.

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DE 1 year, 10 months ago

Where is it written that any employee, teacher or public safety, public or private, blue collar or white collar, should be given a raise on a yearly basis? Raises should be given out on performance, not on a yearly basis. And looking at the low test scores and graduation rates of the students in the Clayton County School system, raises should be the last thing the BOE and the teachers should be worried about. Instead of complaining about your salary, why don't you channel that emotion into getting these scores and graduation rates up substantially, then you can talk about a raise. Until then, as a homeowner and taxpayer in this county, I don't feel like you deserve a raise. The results that you are providing the taxpayers of this county don't deem a raise at this time.

But for those of you that disagree with my opinion, here's an idea. QUIT! Leave the system if you think you can do better! Change professions. If you are more worried more about what goes into your pocket instead of what goes into your students minds, we don't need you here. You are not doing anyone in this county any good. You are cheating the taxpayers and your students. If you are so confident in your ability to teach, take your skills to a private school and find out what you are really worth. The homeowners and taxpayers of this county are getting tired of paying for sub-standard results from our school system. When these test scores and graduation rates rise, people will start moving back into this community and the tax base will increase, allowing for raises. This school system has been in a downward spiral for many years, and is one reason the county is in the position it is in now. Who wants to move into a community where the schools are below par? And lets not forget about losing our accreditation a few years ago. We all know that many left the county because of that.

So be a part of the solution, not part of the problem. Be a positive influence that our students can see and learn from. Make it your goal each teaching day that you will make a difference in their lives. Make every student in your class more enriched and wanting to come back the next day for more of the same. If you follow these or similar principles, you will see results. AND RESULTS BRING RAISES!

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