Teacher raises may fall short of promised 2 percent

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Teacher raises may fall short of promised 2 percent

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Jan. 17, 2017 - Atlanta - Georgia Governor Nathan Deal made his budget address before the joint appropriations committee as House and Senate budget hearings opened for the 2017 session. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

The $25 billion state budget Gov. Nathan Deal signed Monday includes money the governor and legislative leaders intended for pay raises for Georgia teachers. But in some districts, teachers may get raises short of the promised 2 percent bump.

Some metro Atlanta district officials say the state funding tied to the promised 2 percent raise was based on a state teacher’s salary schedule that is significantly lower than theirs. So the money from the state doesn’t add up to 2 percent locally.

“The state simply pays less on their schedule and we pay more,” Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Meria Carstarphen said.

It’s an all-too-familiar outcome for Georgia teachers. Last year, too, state leaders promised money would be set aside for teacher raises. But The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that only 40 percent of school districts passed along the money as salary hikes.

Most districts have yet to complete their budgets for the coming school year. But in metro Atlanta, at least three districts do not intend to give teachers 2 percent raises — Cobb, Atlanta and DeKalb.

House Appropriations Chairman Terry England, R-Auburn, said he’d heard rumblings about some districts not giving the full pay raise.

“I am disappointed that systems are not choosing to follow the intentions of the General Assembly that teachers get a 2 percent pay raise,” England said.

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