Georgia’s Education Reform Commission considers teacher pay

Average teacher pay in Georgia is $50,727, but starting teachers earn less and veterans with advanced degrees earn more.

Members of Gov. Nathan Deal’s Education Reform Commission on Thursday considered ways to disconnect pay from rigid requirements that school districts pay teachers based on their training and experience. The goal: to give districts more control over how they pay teachers and also to boost pay for newer teachers.

A proposal by Georgia Rep. Terry England, R-Auburn, a member of the commission, would continue funding school districts based on the training and experience of their teachers, while freeing the districts to pay new teachers as they see fit while veterans stay with the existing scale.

Another proposal, by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, would fund districts by multiplying the current state average pay by the number of teachers in each district. Districts that currently spend less than average would wind up with more money. Those that spend more would get a supplement that brings them up to their current spending level. The supplemental dollars would come from an $88 million pool of money, said Ted Beck, director of OPB’s education division.

The members of the funding committee didn’t select a favored proposal but are expected to do so by December when they will send their recommendations to the larger reform commission.

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