BoE OKs teacher pay study

Tue, 08/21/2007 - 6:19pm
By: Kevin Wandra

Are employees working in the Fayette County School System getting paid what they’re worth? Are their salaries comparable to what employees in surrounding counties are earning?

Those are two questions the Fayette County Board of Education will address by hiring consultant Dennis Fordham, a retired superintendent and former president of the Georgia School Superintendents Association, to conduct a $54,500 comprehensive employee compensation study for the district.

The board voted unanimously Monday to move forward with the study.

Industry standards suggest that a comprehensive assessment of compensation and classification structures be undertaken at least every five years.

One of the school system’s biggest concerns is losing teachers because it isn’t paying them enough money.

“We’re losing teachers,” Dr. Reanee Ellis, director of human resources, said. “We’re fighting constantly to get highly qualified teachers ... because we’re not paying them enough.”

“Our quandary is our proximity to richer districts,” Chairman Terri Smith said. “We always have a limited pile of money. There’s no disputing that.

“I wish everybody had enough money and was happy, but that is not the real world. I want everybody compensated fairly.”

The survey will look at the salary structure for school systems in 13 counties, including the ones that are giving Fayette the most competition for teachers: Henry, Clayton, Fulton, Cobb and Gwinnett, among others.

Board member Lee Wright supported conducting the survey because he wants the board to vie for the best teachers and administrators.

“We definitely want to compete for the best talent,” Wright said. “We want to have a progressive system and recruit the best talent here. We need to be competitive with administrators, too.”

The board was somewhat leery about going ahead with the survey due to budget constraints and other factors. Even when the survey is completed, the board may not be able to implement all the recommendations because of a lack of money.

“Our budget is a problem,” Superintendent John DeCotis said. “The last four years, we lost about $20 million in state revenue. And with the the housing market the way it is, that doesn’t help, either. Whatever comes out of this survey, we should implement things very slowly.”

Another potential problem: If the board increases the salaries of its current teachers, that might mean it will be forced to hire fewer teachers in the future.

“We may have to lower the number of teachers we hire to afford our teachers,” Smith said.

In other business, the board, in executive session, appointed interim Comptroller Laura Brock to serve full time in the same position.

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zoes's picture
Submitted by zoes on Thu, 08/23/2007 - 9:42am.

The truth is that it doesn't matter what other places pay their teachers. It still isn't enough. Whatever we are paying our teachers needs to be increased. I guarantee that will be the answer. Who cares how much? They will say they can't do it, but pay increases should be budgeted (and implemented) regardless of what other places are doing. Teachers are worth it.

Public Safety pay can be addressed another time!

Submitted by RT Tugger on Thu, 08/23/2007 - 8:06am.

The BoE is going to spend $54,000 on a comprehensive study that will wind up being a big fat paper document that will be summarized for them by Sweat et al. We ALREADY KNOW the study will tell us that we need to pay our teachers more. Seriously, does anyone think the study will tell us our teachers are overpaid? All this despite Dr. DeCotis's warning that the expected results (i.e., we need to pay our teachers more) will need to be implemented very slowly (i.e., it will be difficult to make substantial salary increases under the current budget). This study was approved because it's too much trouble for BoE members to do the research on their own. I'll tell you our quandary: It's having to put up with the likes of this Board as they fritter away good money on projects like this.

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Thu, 08/23/2007 - 8:50am.

Some teachers need a big raise. Some need a reduction in pay. Some need fired.
This is the reason we don't have enough.
Also, helicopters hurt the budget!
Transfer the money!

Submitted by onlyrealcat on Wed, 08/22/2007 - 6:11pm.

“We’re losing teachers,” Dr. Reanee Ellis, director of human resources, said. “We’re fighting constantly to get highly qualified teachers ... because we’re not paying them enough.”

there you go. another strong black woman runing the county school system. yes the changes are hear and coming on strong! her teachers are respecting her standing up for them!

The only real cat in town

TonyF's picture
Submitted by TonyF on Thu, 08/23/2007 - 5:39am.

"ruining" has another "I" in it. use your spellcheck.

"The memories of a man in his old age, are the deeds of a man in his prime.You shuffle in the gloom of the sick room,and talk to yourself as you die."
(R. Waters)

Submitted by oldbeachbear on Thu, 08/23/2007 - 2:25am.

It is true we don't pay them as much as some other counties. The draw use to be the kids were better behaved and made it easier to teach. Now that is gone in the northern schools and the teachers are moving to Northgate, where they control the kids and a teacher can still teach.

Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 08/22/2007 - 9:00pm.

Your ebonics is slipping. Remember using ebonics was your main vernacular??

Maybe if you watch more Dave Chappell, or Chris Rock, you can brush up and really create a stir with your display of hate. Ya know what I'm saying??

Opps I mean ya know what I be sayn?

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Wed, 08/22/2007 - 8:53pm.

Thanks for sharing your latest views you racist bigot. You've made your point real clear.... not only do you hate whitey, you also hate men. No wonder you don't have a man. Shocked

Did you know that you can actually go back to school and earn a GED? Perhaps a few of us could help you obtain a higher level of education so you can get beyond sounding like some Clayon County Ghetto Thug. Smiling


"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Wed, 08/22/2007 - 8:57pm.

The only education she has is "tribal knowledge".
A leader in the Democratic Party is a boss, in the Republican Party he is a leader.

LifeLongResident's picture
Submitted by LifeLongResident on Wed, 08/22/2007 - 5:23pm.

Another example of the incompetence of government. Are not the pay scales of teachers public information or at least easy to determine? I own a business and don't have to pay someone $54,500 to find out if my employees are being paid equitably.

Is the BoE too lazy or too stupid (collectively) to figure this out? Or are they afraid of the repercussions come election time so the can pass the buck to the consultant when the stuff hits the fan?

If a person is willing to sacrifice a little freedom to gain a little security, they deserve neither - Ben Franklin

chippie's picture
Submitted by chippie on Wed, 08/22/2007 - 7:59pm.

Pay scales for teachers are public information and take just a couple of clicks to find.

Along with underpaying their teachers, Fayette County BoE pays their substitute teachers $20 a day less than Clayton Co.

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