Posted: 1:17 pm Friday, February 7th, 2014

Nathan Deal tries to turn tables on teacher pay 

By Jim Galloway

If you’ve followed this blog, you know of some Republican unrest in Cobb County and other parts of suburban Atlanta over school funding.

“Governor Deal needs to feel uncomfortable,” one Cobb school board member told parents in December. Board chairman Randy Scamihorn declared his school system “broke.”

teacherpaypetition

From the Deal campaign’s website

The idea has been to put some heat on a governor seeking re-election. Now the Nathan Deal campaign is attempting to turn back some of that criticism – with this online petition that points dissatisfied parents to local school boards. From the website:

Every child deserves the opportunity to receive a world class education. And the best way to do that is to start with our teachers. Gov. Nathan Deal has allocated an additional $500 million to Georgia’s education budget to ensure the best possible education for our children.

Now, it’s up to your local school board to decide how that money is spent in your district. Gov. Deal adamantly believes one of the best ways to improve education for our children is by investing in our best teachers. That’s why Gov. Deal is calling on the school boards to pay teachers more.

But it might not be worth picking a side in the fight. Consider this analysis posted this afternoon by Alan Essig of the center-left Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. A portion:

To be sure, the governor’s proposal does include money for salary adjustments for state employees, Board of Regents staff and K-12. But the increase is probably not enough for every state employee and teacher to receive even a token pay raise.

State employees and teachers have gone without base salary cost-of-living increases for five years. Inflation was more than 9 percent during that time, while state employees and teachers were hit with hikes in health insurance premiums of about 10 percent from 2010 to 2012 and about 7.5 percent in 2013…

Will K-12 teachers receive a base salary cost-of-living increase? The answer is complicated. Although money is included in the proposed 2015 budget for seniority-based teacher step increases, there is no dedicated source for base salary cost-of-living increases. The governor included $314 million in the Department of Education’s 2015 budget to offset a portion of the $1 billion austerity cut and provide local school districts the flexibility to reduce or eliminate furlough days, increase instructional days, or provide salary increases to teachers.

Since more than 70 percent of school districts have cut the school calendar and 80 percent are furloughing teachers, it is likely that the great majority of the money will be used to assure a full academic calendar, rather than for local salary supplements.

14 comments
RCTMAN
RCTMAN

Nathan Deal will probably lose in the Primary in May to John Barge. Teachers are aware of the situation and are rallying to get him out....

Jmf1959
Jmf1959

I think Nathan Deal is about to get Barnesed. He has woken the beast (complacent teachers). After 5 years of cuts, no COLAs, furlough days, increased expenses, and a looming attack on teachers pensions, teachers are done with Deal and his supporters in the statehouse. Vote for Barge in the Republican primary, please.

FlaTony
FlaTony

Political games are at the heart of Gov. Deal's budget proposals. Going to a new low, he proposes in his budget plan to reduce austerity cuts that have underfunded our schools by billions of dollars for nearly 10 years. Now he claims that school districts could afford to give teachers a pay raise if they choose to. Most districts are still unable to afford a full academic year for students. How in the world can we give a pay raise and restore the days for kids to get the full school year they deserve? Dirty Deal for Georgia's students and teachers!

crankee-yankee
crankee-yankee

The  only way to send Deal packing is in the primary.

Cross over, vote for Barge.


The "raise", just like the DCH "fix" of the SHBP will disappear in January if Deal is reelected.

Charles50
Charles50

I realized early on that the raise Deal was offering to employees was nothing more than lip service.  When you say the full amount it seems like alike.  But when broken down by each agency it's nothing but a slap in the face.  Essentially it equals about enough to buy an extra CHEAP lunch per month--think fast food.  That's because it's so little that by the time it gets taxed you almost get nothing.

Bernie31
Bernie31

The Teachers of Georgia would get far more cooperation and direct State Funding for salary increases if they were to start carrying Footballs and wearing Atlanta Falcons Football helmets and Jersey's to Work.

uh...huh.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

The Cobb Co. chairman is leading the charge on this issue and is to be commended, but he should be a little more diligent about his own backyard. Last month the Political Insider reported on the Cobb developer who was given a sweetheart deal to take land adjacent to the proposed Braves stadium off the tax rolls, depriving the school system of a few $million over the next decade. Because this coincided with all the attention on the Braves relocation, it was noticed, and the uproar from Cobb citizens caused this sweetheart deal to be overturned, but it begs the question of how many more similar deals go unnoticed and unreported.

It is also ironic that PI reported yesterday that one of the legislators from Cobb has proposed--way too late, INMHO--that the tax incentives given these developers must finally be reported. However her measure prevents us, the people picking up the tab for these tax breaks, from ever seeing these reports.

Cons call liberals the party of wealth redistribution when we advocate for tax reform, but in cases of actual wealth redistribution, like these sweetheart deals for corporations and land developers, that take money from school children's education and well-deserved pay raises for teachers, they call that ''good business.''

honested
honested

Time for the State (including the Chief Photo Opper) to come to grips with reality.


MORE Teachers, Smaller Classes and Adequate Pay are as necessary now as ever and MORE TAXES will be necessary to accomplish what is needed.


No magic, just facts.


Speaking of facts, since GBPI only researches and reports FACTS, then FACTS must be 'left leaning'.

FoSho
FoSho

the state is broke but comes with hundreds of millions somehow for special "projects" for friends of fatcat politicians --- the corruption never ends in this state

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Teachers, and the families and friends of teachers in Georgia, in my opinion, you would be foolish to vote for Gov. Nathan Deal either in the Republican primary on May 20, 2014, or in the general election for Georgia's governor on November 4, 2014.


If you want to see your personal financial situation change for the better in Georgia, you would be wise to vote the Democratic ticket, except please vote for Dr. John Barge, Republican Superintendent of Georgia's Schools, for Georgia's governor in the Republican primary.

Retiredmathteacher
Retiredmathteacher

Memo to the Governor:  It won't work.  The state has shifted all of the blame it can to the local school boards.  This is the age of social media.  People are aware of all the unfunded mandates.  People are aware of the regulations the state and federal governments lay on the local school boards.  There is little to no funding left on the local level.  Outside of the mega metro school districts, system level positions have been cut, and those that are left are handling multiple layers of paperwork required by the state and federal governments.  The state legislature and governors (Perdue and Deal) have created this situation, and they stand for correction at the polls next November.  It is apparant that they are concerned, or they wouldn't have done anything. 

PatrickMalone
PatrickMalone

Funny how school boards are always harping of local control but a quick to cite the state funding as the source of all their problems. Seems hypocritical.

Uncommonsenses
Uncommonsenses

What does local control have to do with the state not funding education?