Atlanta Public Schools considers pay hikes for thousands of staffers

Credit: ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM

Credit: ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM

Atlanta Public Schools is proposing a $13.7 million compensation plan for next school year that would give raises to thousands of non-teacher employees.

The board of education’s budget commission on Thursday reviewed suggestions for increasing pay for positions including counselors, reading and math specialists, administrators, bus drivers and mechanics, among others.

The plan includes a pay increase and a step increase, based on years of experience, for more than 2,500 eligible, full-time employees on the non-teacher pay grade, according to APS documents. Those changes would boost pay by an estimated 5%.

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About 600 employees on the instructional support pay scale also would receive more money.

The district is considering “market adjustments” that would increase the starting hourly pay rate for bus drivers from $18.36 to $20 and also up pay for mechanics and parent liaisons, among other proposals.

Nicole Lawson, interim chief human resources officer, recommended the district hire an outside firm to analyze employee compensation.

She said the district is “seeing early signs of being impacted by the ‘Great Resignation,’” the term coined for the masses nationwide who quit jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“It’s been seven years since APS conducted a compensation and classification study and best practice is that a compensation study is conducted every five years to ensure that your structure remains fair and equitable,” Lawson told board members.

A full list of pay proposals for non-teacher employees can be found on the district’s website.

Last month, officials presented a plan to give an average raise of 4.6% to teachers next school year.

The compensation proposals are pending board approval, expected in June.