School board cuts pay, protects benefits for 2009-2010

Fri, 02/27/2009 - 12:05am
By: Ben Nelms

The votes by Fayette County School Board came relatively quickly Thursday night as board members unanimously agreed to forego increasing the cost of benefits premiums to school system staff for the coming fiscal year beginning July 1. That measure was followed by another unanimous vote to impose a 4.5 percent across-the-board salary cut.

In total, $14.5 million in cuts have been made this week, a figure projected to total the expected deficit for the 2009-2010 school year. The Wednesday meeting at Sams Auditorium was attended by 150 people, with another 300 attending Thursday night.

The moves came as board members looked for ways to make up the remaining $5.8 million in deficits for the coming year. With board members echoing the feelings of a number of the public speakers in both meetings, they joined Superintendent John DeCotis in the belief that leaving benefits alone would be the most equitable approach since lower paid staff would be disproportionately impacted if the school system raised the employee contribution portions of the benefits offered.

A salary cut across the school system would be the fairest way to make up the $5.8 million figure, board members said. The only exceptions to the 4.5 percent cuts were approximately 10 staff whose work year was reduced at the Monday meeting and approximately 65 National Board Certified teachers who were already taking an 8.3 percent cut after the state and the school board declined to continue the customary 10 percent addition to salary those teachers receive due to obtaining the certification.

Chairman Terri Smith was joined by the other board members in saying that they would revisit the salary cut issue and do their best to reinstate the salary cuts if and when possible. The board was also clear in the hope that the various budget cutting measures now adopted would be the last they would have to make, though they held out no promise depending on the future state of the economy.

The board on Monday made $8.7 million in other cuts by reducing 157 school staff positions beginning in July, including in their statements the hope that the reductions can be accomplished by attrition. Approximately 65 staff thus far have indicated they will not be returning next year.

Prior to the Thursday vote, board members heard the sentiments of a number of the more than 30 school system staff and a few parents making comments opposing the potential salary and benefit premium reductions.

Those feelings were shared by the dozen speakers at the Wednesday night meeting.

It has been relatively customary in budget-related meetings since May 2008 to have school system staff holding various positions advocating that potential cuts not affect them. What was different at the meetings Wednesday and Thursday were the more elevated calls to have central office staff and administrators pay a price.

“Don’t cut the front line,” said McIntosh employee Jan Miller at the Wednesday meeting. “Don’t cut from the bottom to maintain (something that is) top heavy.”

That sentiment was echoed by parent Kim Learnard, who said only administrative staff were included in the most recent cost cutting committee.

“We have a top-heavy central office with runaway salaries,” she said, adding that wages for the superintendent and three assistant superintendents totaled one-half million dollars. “The superintendent and three assistants are waddling up to the all-you-can-eat buffet.”

Addressing the board Thursday, bus driver and parent Sandra Hornsby shared the impact of a pay cut on her bottom line.

“I’ve worked here 5 years and I’ve had no (salary) increase. With a pay cut I would bring home about $500 a month,” she said.

Speaking Thursday, bus driver Danny Campbell essentially took no prisoners in his comment to the board that, “Maybe you’ll want our blood next so you can sell it.”

Second-year teacher Scott Moore Wednesday suggested that no staff positions or benefits be reduced and that all employees take the same across-the-board pay cut, while employee Karen Davis told board members that principals should be allowed to decide the fate of media specialists.

Also speaking Wednesday was Georgia Association of Educators President Jeff Hubbard, who urged board members to avoid making decisions that would negatively impact classroom instruction.

Sandy Creek High School Principal Roy Rabolt offered a different take on the difference between teachers’ pay and that of school administrative positions such as assistant principals.

“Fourteen percent of my teachers earn more than half my assistant principals,” he said Thursday. “And of the top 18 salary earners, 15 are teachers.”

More than half of the 300 attending Thursday night were still in the room when the votes were cast. It was clear from the audience reaction that they were pleased with the decision not to touch benefits. And though, from the earlier public statements and the applause that followed, they were likely not pleased with the salary cuts, few openly expressed that sentiment after the meeting.

As one employee said in the parking lot of Sams Auditorium, “We expected it, we just wanted to them to hear us.”

Both meetings opened with Superintendent John DeCotis giving an overview of more than $26 million in state austerity cuts to the school system since 2001. Comptroller Laura Brock and Assistant Superintendent for Operations Sam Sweat also gave updates on budget issues and cost cutting items instituted since the beginning of the school year.

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S. Lindsey's picture
Submitted by S. Lindsey on Tue, 10/27/2009 - 8:05am.

"A Government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have." Thomas Jefferson

Submitted by whoknows on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 12:24pm.

I think not.Nothing has ever been equal at the board of education. Pay scales are made up to fit the individual they want hired. Teachers retirement is given to some and not others.Vehicles and gas provided to select employees that live out of county.
How many of the lower paid employees are given that benefit? Vehicle, insurance, and gas. At minimum a $500-$600 benefit.

Submitted by mysteryman on Sun, 03/01/2009 - 7:34pm.

Lets elect a high school student board to run the school system, what better class project, to provide real world hands on experience... Heck they could not do any worse, than the three musketeers, and it might even give the students a look at how an elected board was supposed to function, in are now post democratic society. Liberty dies with thunderous applause. In the old days a lynch mob would have formed outside the boards chambers over less. Not to mention our hard earned cash, and our childrens future, as if they will be fortunate to have one by the time this mess is sorted out. Let us pray it is so....PEACE

Submitted by Just Saying on Sun, 03/01/2009 - 2:03pm. school had 3 administrators, 1 secretary/bookkeeper, and 1 attendance clerk. We had parent volunteers run the clinic and front desk. Now, we still have the 3 administrators but we have a secretary, a bookkeeper, a receptionist, a nurse, and a SASI clerk (who does the job the AP used to do). Three additional employees to do essentially the same amount of work for approximately the same number of students. Three wonderful people, yes, but three positions we did fine without as recently as 13 years ago.

And we certainly did not have the nonsense and ridiculous expense of Channel 24.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Sun, 03/01/2009 - 2:14pm.

It is good to hear that sort of reality coming from someone directly involved with our students. Best to ya!


Submitted by Solution Seeker on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 9:41pm.

I understand that everyone is upset by the recent developments with the Fayette County School Board. As a parent and teacher in this school system I am not thrilled with this either. However, I have never known finger pointing, name calling, and placing blame to be anything that is actually constructive to help solve any problem...much less one of this magnitude. It is obvious that mistakes have been made, poor decisions have caused unwanted consequences, and emotions are running high. Yet, it seems to me that if we put the same amount of energy into finding a solution as we have into blaming one another, we might be able to actually work together for once! Wouldn't that be great!

Submitted by lindasnola on Sun, 03/01/2009 - 3:02pm.

No one can pend their dreams on these people resigning, nor making any better decisions in the future. The new schools were built on speculation as to the number of children we may have in 2030.

Well acquainted with how many children the Federal government mandates must be in a class room for Federal funding as well as constant yearly declining enrollment, and several Federal buget cuts,they made the decision less than a year ago to go forward with building Rivers Elementary. This will probably cause the demise of much loved Tyrone Elementary in order to keep federal funding.

It is almost 2 years away before Lee Wright comes up for re election. Ms Smith and Ms Smola have 3 years 10 months more in office.

Someone needs to contact the state and get an investigation going. The article in this very paper on Smith failure to disclose her office in her husband's development company might be a good start on her.

Ms Smola and her non profit? companies and the use of the buses for the airshow, might be a good place to start.

As someone has mentioned, these people's kids and school officials kids, have been drawing salaries as custodians and clerks. These were positions that were not advertised.

Anyway, there seems to be many topics that the state could investigate

Submitted by loanarranger707 on Sun, 03/01/2009 - 10:37am.

When people make mistake after mistake, and especially when they have been devious about it and don’t even acknowledge their mistakes, the first step to take is to replace them. It is clear we need new personnel on the Board of Education and above all a new county school superintendent.

When sports teams keep on losing, the coach gets replaced. There’s no leadership without a leader who inspires people and actually leads.

Submitted by Bonkers on Sun, 03/01/2009 - 7:40am.

Can't we all just get along?

Anything we all come up with is certainly OK just as long as no one gets a pay cut nor gets laid off! Right?

Anytime money gets scarce, everyone says: not me, not me!!!

Submitted by treehuggingtroll on Sun, 03/01/2009 - 1:50am.

I'd love any constructive suggestions you have.

I say we donate to save the jobs of those laid off teachers that want to stay. We could donate it SPECIFICALLY for the retention of laid off teachers for the 2009-2010 school year. Heck, we should probably do it at the school level, as opposed to the county level, so that the money is actually spent correctly. PTOs around the county raise money for school improvements all the time. I'd say keeping as many teachers as we can would qualify as a school improvement.

Submitted by Doug on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 4:07pm.

What ever happened to the Neal or Neil or whatever guy who kept telling us if we passed the SPLOST none of this would happen?

It's just too darn bad those pro SPLOST duds weren't smart enough to look at the facts before they opened their mouths.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 9:00pm.

Neil Sullivan has moved on to his latest crusade: Protect the Fayette media specialists

(it seems that, contrary to Neil's pro-SPLOST demogaugery last fall, that the SPLOST didn't protect the jobs of those media specialists as we were led to believe...)

Neil's SPLOST-supporting educator wife hasn't been seen lately in the Free Speech column, however, a few minutes after Neil posted his latest blog, someone named "Parent and Educator" registered and posted a similar complaint about the proposed reduction of media specialists HERE.

Submitted by Incognito on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 4:27pm.

It doesn't matter how one voted on the Splost to see that you are not making sense. Lets look at a simplified budget model:

It takes $1000 to run the school system in this example. $600 per year was given by the state and the remaining $400 came from local sources. Now a splost gets passed that after April 09, would give an extra $80 per year to the school. So now theoretically the school system would have $1080 per year after Splost.

Now independently- the state decides to cut $200.00 a year from their budget. So now the new budget pre splost would be $800 per year and after Splost would be $880. Either way the school system is screwed by the state cuts. So you look foolish trying to tie these actions together. Cuts are coming either way, maybe the Splost softens the blow for the school system.

Now, feel free to harp on mismanagement, etc, because that makes sense--maybe they could really get by on the $800 or $880 whatever. But to tie this together as budget woes and Splost people caused it does not pass basic logic. Of course that assumes that you are capable of that.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Sun, 03/01/2009 - 9:33am.

they had enough schools....

"The board voted 4-1 in favor of awarding the contract. Board member Marion Key cast the opposing vote, stating after the meeting that Fayette County already has a sufficient number of elementary schools."

and now look where we are.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Sun, 03/01/2009 - 9:44am.

stated when she ran she would have stopped Rivers Elementary. All people with kids going to Tyrone elm should have voted for her.

Submitted by dollaradayandno... on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 4:43pm.

It is a matter of building empires with big salaries instead of teaching kids well!

The whole last two generations spent more than they had---including school systems--mostly wasted.

Fancy cars, huge homes, best of clothing is more important!

olpmcg's picture
Submitted by olpmcg on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 2:17pm.

If anyone cares to hear a students perspective, because, in the end, all of these cuts effect us the most. The worst impact, is the loss of teachers that will increase our already cramped classes during the 09-10 school year. It's hard enough trying to be heard without adding more students to the mix. Not to mention the loss of zero period classes, for those of us who want to take 7 classes a day. And I could continue, but that would be futile judging by how often anyone asks us anything. The lack of focus here is ridiculous and if anyone would ask us, i can promise you that we would be able to come up with a few cuts of our own. For example, replacing the overpaid counselors at McIntosh with a computer registration system and letting all of us take care of our own college applications. Also, allowing students to bring their own laptops and reducing paper usage, although not a huge help. Every little bit counts! Getting rid of the dozens of students at McIntosh who don't even live in Peachtree City. Lowering the amount of money spent on athletics, which I know is not a small amount. You will find that, for those of us who actually care about school, as long as we get our education, you can cut anything.

aliquando's picture
Submitted by aliquando on Mon, 03/02/2009 - 1:48am.

Athletics is self supporting. Do some investigating before posting. Your other suggestions are valid. How would you deal with students who have laptops vs. students that do not? Are the extra students at McIntosh out of county or just out of district? It costs the same to educate a student at any school in the county. MHS class of 85.

Submitted by mysteryman on Sun, 03/01/2009 - 12:06pm.

By the time you complete your education, the only requisite to obtaining employ is can you repeat after me say "WELCOME TO WAL-MART." Since by then Socialisim will be well in effect, and instead of recieving pay for your work, you will only recieve a housing voucher, and a coupon for gas and groceries, no worrys though since you will still obivously be hypnotised, by playstation, and the crackberry texting all of your friends should fulfill all of your freetime. Aint it cool, i have a friend who after 25 years in the Air Force, could only find employ at the local Wally World, this is a shame folks... How long will the masses remain silent in dealing with these clowns, that continue to squander the riches and resources of this great nation, that have taken generations to obtain, only to send it all out the door in the name of economic stimulations??? We will all have no shortage of heat in HELL, if we do not rise up!!! And fight this insanity... Everyone should have to study the book and movie 1984 by GEORGE ORWELL, and make some direct comparisions, of this drama with todays society, for this is where the government if left unchecked by the people is sure to take us... Its is time for the next American Revolution, its snowing outside right now, just think of all of our brothers and sisters outside in the cold, having lost their jobs, and homes, when the rest of us end up out there cold and hungry then the revolution will begin, let us hope it does not wait to long.......GOD BLESS

Submitted by larado2 on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 5:27pm.

Don't worry, fc won't cut any teachers unless they are going to quit anyway. Why would they want to do that when that would mean more students in a class and less achievement which will make our board look bad and they'll be ousted.

It was easier to just give everyone the pay cut. Why are all the alternatives to this apparent to everyone but our overpaid board?

olpmcg's picture
Submitted by olpmcg on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 6:36pm.

One can only hope!

Submitted by Linda Wheatley on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 11:31am.

Just thinking about a teacher friend of mine who is a widow with children in college. She is going to have to get a second job to make up for the pay cut. I hope from this point forward the county office does a better job of managing the money!!!!

Submitted by dollaradayandno... on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 3:56pm.

Do yu have ANY idea how many there are who can't even consider college due to their unemployment or pay?

Submitted by ptcmom678 on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 3:36pm.

for those on unemployment. Also, shouldn't the stimulus package be protesting some of these jobs?

Submitted by Linda Wheatley on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 6:48pm.

So because of that reason this teacher/mother shouldn't try to help her children attend college??

Submitted by baroombrawl on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 7:23pm.

What has college got to do with a recession?

If she wants them to go they can on a Pell or something, or a loan.

Trying to keep all of one's salary to attend college is noble but unfair and selfish.

Submitted by Linda Wheatley on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 7:28pm.

You're right-that selfish mother-she should give her portion of her salary willingly to the FCBOE so they can mismanage it! Screw her kids-they are on their own!

hutch866's picture
Submitted by hutch866 on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 4:05pm.

does yu mean?

I yam what I yam....Popeye

Submitted by Linda Wheatley on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 6:49pm.

Maybe a "yu" is kind of like a "yut" in My Cousin Vinny. I love that part of the movie!

Submitted by soundofm on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 8:57pm.


You need to get your facts straight. You are a bit too hysterical. 219 people left Fayette County system last year. With 157 positions cut (note: already 69 people have indicated they will not return), the fast majority of people, if not all people, in positions eliminated will be transferred to other positions. Someone in this forum said they admired your generosity. I question your logic.

You have stated that no positions should be eliminated. How foolish! Of course, positions have to be eliminated. Do the math and use some logic!

Again, don't continue to give the impression that all people will be losing their jobs, because few (if any) will. Quit the hysteria!

Submitted by treehuggingtroll on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 8:15pm.

While I agree that some of the position cuts will come through attrition (I hope they ALL do), Many will not. Teachers in my building have been told they won't have jobs. Yes, over 200 people left the system last year, and yes, I know some will this year as well. But, with the recession in full swing, some of those who were entertaining the thought of retirement have been forced to changed their minds. Some have spouses that have been laid off. Some are just worried and figure sticking around is a good idea (and I agree).

Here are the facts: teachers in my building will lose their jobs and other (veteran) teachers will be shuffled around between schools and grade levels. Should I be hysterical for those teachers that will be out of a job next year? Probably. But I'm not. I'm angry, sad, and frustrated. And, I think we can fix it. I say again, if enough of us choose to help a little, we can save these positions. It has been done by other teachers elsewhere in the country. Furthermore, this whole shuffling of teachers around all over the system will harm the very ones our schools are supposed to be serving: the students.

Did any of us create this problem? No. I just think we can fix it. The board has tried their fix. I simply don't think it's enough.

Submitted by SickNTired09 on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 7:38pm.

In these tough economic times, some are not paying...

It would be interesting to know the condition that Fayette County would currently be in, if: (hundreds of thousands of dollars were collected)
-Certain Bail Bonding companies in the county were made to pay their bonds when the accused did not show for court
-The Board of Commissioners had access to some of this money, instead of the Sheriff?
-How this money could help our local economy? teachers? water rates? prop tax hikes?
I could go on and on. Someone should look into this...

Submitted by nepotism on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 1:14pm.

Last Data found 2006
Raymond Simon US Deputy Secretary of Education $162,000

Fiscal Year 2008
Beverly Hall $353,710 (ATL Schools Super could have 9 firefighters for 1 of her)
State Superintendent Cox $125,528
DeCotis $214,371 (aka Priceless)
Sweat $125,793 ($6,800 in Travel Expenses note Sweat makes more than Cox)
Simpson ASP Director $105,204
Serapion Dir of Pupil Personnel Services $102,108 ($3540 Travel Expenses)
Campbell $102,075
Worth (Coord. school psyc serv) $90,612
Cearley (Dir Tech Serv) $89,071

Top 5 Principals in 2008
1. Warr $122,064 (Gang Hazard Pay and Water Bottle ban program)
2. Corley $119,222 (Retired Now)
3. Tie Rabold $115,156 & Stillions $115,156 (sidenote had the most travel exp out of all the principals over 5k)
5. Tie Fleming $111,672 (Moved) & Kidd $111,672 (Retired)

Sandy Creek
Rabold= $115,156
Assist Evans $77,683
Assist Smith $65,611
Asst Wood No Data (wasn't in the FCBOE system in 2008)
Asst Lain No Data (just made assistant)

Fayette County High
Warr $122,064
Asst Taylor $84,952
Asst Davis $80,022
Asst Leonard $71,018
Asst Dow (prob didn't work entire year I guess) $41,698

Click this link to see for yourself!

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 1:20pm.

check it.

Submitted by localyocal on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 9:11am.

Sandy Creek High School Principal Roy Rabolt offered a different take on the difference between teachers’ pay and that of school administrative positions such as assistant principals.

“Fourteen percent of my teachers earn more than half my assistant principals,” he said Thursday. “And of the top 18 salary earners, 15 are teachers.”

This comment is quite comical coming from someone who is one of the top 4 highest paid principals in the county. Is he suggesting that a teacher should not make more than an administrator?

Submitted by Linda Wheatley on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 11:36am.

“Fourteen percent of my teachers earn more than half my assistant principals,”

Well-if the A.P.'s want to make as much of as some of these teachers then they need to go back to college and get the additional degrees and put in the years that those teachers did!

Stupid Comment!

Submitted by dollaradayandno... on Sat, 02/28/2009 - 3:58pm.

I thought teachers were grossly underpaid!

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 10:42am.

I was also curious about Principal Raybold's remarks. I got the impression that he was implying (without explicitly saying) that some of his teachers were overpaid, since he had assistant principals who made less than they did.

He wasn't the most focused speaker last evening.

eodnnaenaj1's picture
Submitted by eodnnaenaj1 on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 10:26am.

Top 10 at the central office - NO, none, nada, zip, teacher makes more than they. In fact the gov. doesn't make as much as the super. What does this say.

This entire budget mess thing is so aggravating, it comes across to me like boe is just rubbing noses in it. Kinda like, yes we have wonderful salaries, and intend to keep them, and our travel expenses, yes central office is top heavy with unecessary assistants to assistants, yes we lied to you, yes we mismanaged and spent your money, yes we will cut front line people, yes nepotism is rampant, thumb on nose waving fingers at us, and there is nothing you can do to stop us. It's a shame, just a crying shame.

Gee, top fellow at central office is taking 5% cut, that would be what ~ $12,500 ummmm that could pay a parapro or someone by that cut alone. If those top folks all took 5% cut, that would be ~ $25,000. If the real fat was cut at the central office several $100k's could be saved. I just shake my head and wonder.

Submitted by RT Tugger on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 10:18am.

Yeah, Raybold made his point last night: some teachers earn more than his APs. So what? Personally, I thought he was kind of out of line. There may be a few teachers who make more than the APs, but most of them don't. My high schooler has one teacher in particular who is just outstanding. She teaches difficult material, she challenges her students, and she has high expectations. I am so grateful for teachers like her. My kids will be better prepared for college because of teachers like her. She DESERVES to make more than the APs at Raybold's school (I don't know if she does). She is impacting far more students than any of the APs ever will. I’m not disputing the salaries of the APs, but I do wonder why we need four of them at every high school. Anybody else have insight as to why we have so many? What exactly do they do? Since it’s coming down to cutting teachers’ jobs, could we really not get by with one fewer AP at the high schools? Raybold seemed to be making the case that he could not do without all of them, but from my perspective, my kids wouldn’t miss an AP. One of my kids, however, has an excellent newer, young teacher who will be sorely missed if he is laid off.

Submitted by MacTheKnife on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 11:17am.

"She DESERVES to make more than the APs at Raybold's school (I don't know if she does)."

So, if she continues to do well as a teacher, and get's the required advanced degrees, and is then promoted you think she should work more days a year more hours a day, have more liability and responsibility and take a pay cut?

Where do you think these AP's come from?

The reason for the disparity is that the Assistant Principals were put on a separate salary scale years ago. The last salary study showed they were the lowest paid (in relative terms) in the county and well out of line with their peers in surrounding counties. The salary scale has grown progressively more out of line with appropriate pay yet the county office has continued to lump Assistant Principals in with other Administrators - quite unfairly I might add.

As for what they do - Assistant Principals are in charge of: Athletics, discipline, safety, attendance, transportation, supervision, evaluating teachers, facilities, lockers, books, inventory, technology, instruction, parent communication, community communication, public relations, testing, special education (IDEA, SST and 504), standardized testing, screening, tri-bunal hearings, 900 reports, discipline reports, custodians, parapros, supplies, copies, budget compliance .... etc., etc., etc. I could go on but let's just say they are in charge of everything at the school level and every event that the school is a part of.

opusman's picture
Submitted by opusman on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 10:53pm.

All this back and forth is for naught. First if you are going to talk about the facts of admin and ap salary Fayette county is among the top paid in the state INCLUDING THE AP when considering experience and degree and similar sized systems. So please state fact not what a relative who is leaving wants you to believe. You can sort the data by salary and Local Boe on the audit site. Also, Fayette County Assistant Principals are among the few who do not work during the summer(210days) as most other counties Assistants work as the Principal through the summer(240days).YOu also must consider the school size.
Please apples to apples.
don't hide behind averages use accuracy and research.

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 2:30pm.

If the AP does all that, what's left for the P to do besides sign papers and worry about morale?

Submitted by RT Tugger on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 12:40pm.

Thanks for the information about the AP salaries. I know the APs are former teachers, and I’m not saying they should take a pay cut to get a promotion. I didn’t dispute the salaries of the APs. But why should a teacher who gets the advanced degrees and **stays in the classroom** not be able to earn as much as someone who moves on to an AP position? There aren’t that many AP positions available. A few high school teachers have doctorate degrees. Do you think no teacher should be able to reach the same salary as an AP? According to info on the SCHS website, 14% of the teachers (excluding parapros) at Raybold’s school would be 13. So if 13 of 93 teachers are earning more than the two of the four APs, then it’s because they’ve met the requirements that place them at that point on the pay scale, right? That leaves 80 teachers who earn less than all four APs. If our APs are underpaid, as you say, that’s one thing. I was questioning whether we need as many as we have. A reduction or consolidation of AP positions was on the BOE’s list of possible places to make cuts.

cowtipn's picture
Submitted by cowtipn on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 11:03am.

Glad you have an outstanding teacher. Please explain why she should be paid more for doing the job she was trained to do. At my job I really care about what I do and believe I am making a positive impact, does that entitle me to make more than my peers just because I care more?

Who has a greater scope of impact really; the teacher or the principle? Your comment seems to indicate that you think teachers are more important than supervisory staff; if that's true, why don't you just homeschool and eliminate the waste.

Submitted by RT Tugger on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 11:29am.

Read my post, cowboy. Did I say anything about basing a teacher’s salary (or anyone else’s salary) on much he/she cares? I mentioned a teacher who is doing her job well based on how she is WORKING in the classroom. I said nothing about how much she cares, though obviously her doing a good job is a byproduct of how much she cares. I don’t know how much scope of impact a “principle” has on a student (guess it depends on the principle and whether the student ascribes to it), but I would argue that a teacher has a greater scope of impact than a principal. I do happen to think teachers are more important than supervisory staff, but you’ll notice I didn’t question the higher (in most cases) salaries of the supervisory staff. I didn’t say they weren’t needed or worthy of their salaries; I just think we may have too many of them. Were you even at the meeting last night? I was responding to Raybold’s remarks. You sure are defensive. What are you, some sort of a supervisor somewhere?

cowtipn's picture
Submitted by cowtipn on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 4:14pm.

Ha Ha; no, I'm not a supervisor. Although with their salaries, I'm thinking I should have considered it!

My only points were that just because someone does their job well doesn't mean they are underpaid and that teachers should quit complaining about low wages, (it's like a cop complaining his job is too dangerous or a fireman complaining it's too hot).

Submitted by treehuggingtroll on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 6:14pm.

"teachers should quit complaining about low wages [...] it's like a cop complaining his job is too dangerous or a fireman complaining it's too hot."

I agree. I didn't sign up for the money. Thanks for the laugh.

mapleleaf's picture
Submitted by mapleleaf on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 11:02am.

This has been explained quite a few times in these blogs. Look up the State of Georgia website, and you will find the salaries of all employees of the Fayette Board of Education (teachers, assistant principals, janitors, etc.) for the fiscal year ended on June 30, 2008.

There is no reason for you not to know. You pay taxes, your taxes pay their salary, and you’re entitled to know.

Submitted by localyocal on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 1:07pm.

That is where I got my info from, back to Principle Roy, 7th highest paid BOE employee.

Submitted by treehuggingtroll on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 7:03am.

Do I want to whine about the 5% pay cut I'll be getting next year? Of Course! But let me ask you this...If you are a Nationally Board Certified Teacher, what is your pay cut going to be? What? 10%? Mine's only 5% (assuming I have a job). Huh? What? It's worse than that for teachers new to the county this year? Really? What will their pay cut be? What? 100%? Are you kidding? But mine's only 5%!

That's right. We all want to whine about our "horrible" 5% pay cut, while some of our friends and family are getting a 10% pay cut and others are losing every dime...being laid off!

What happened to banding together? What happened to unity and community and family? I consider my fellow teachers to be family. How can I take ONLY a 5% pay cut while I allow others to be fired...through no fault of their own?

I would rather give back my entire local suppliment, about 10% of my meager pay, and keep everyone, everyone, where they are. I would rather cancel my cable and internet service, turn down my heat, and live off mac & cheese and oatmeal than see someone lose their job because of me. I would rather take on a little more debt than let someone else suffer a job loss, and no, I cannot afford it. But, to NOT do so unconscionable. It's greedy! Unfortunately, that is exactly what we are allowing to happen.

If I had a newborn baby, and I will very shorty, would she be any less a part of my family simply because she was a new arrival? No. Would I allow her to starve so I could have a whopping 5% more to eat? No. It makes me ill even considering it, but this is precisely what we are doing to the 157 newest members of our school families.

I am amazed! I am floored. Am I not living in The Bible Belt? Where are those Southern values I hear so much about? Where is that Southern Hospitality? Where is the neighbor helping neighbor? Where is, "LOVE THY NEIGHBOR"?

Please, please, take 10% from me, and anyone else who is willing, so that no one loses 100%. Take 10% from me so no one is laid off. Take 10% from me so our school communities and school families can remain entact.

Do the right thing. Give back. Fire no one.

Today is payday, and I am ready to write a check for 10% and hand it in. Are you?

Submitted by bonniebraids on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 1:58pm.

I assume you are a two income family. For those of us whose ONLY income depends on the BOE, we need every last penny. Please don't judge us as selfish, some of us may not be able to "give back."

Submitted by treehuggingtroll on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 5:33pm.

We are a one family income by choice. I live right on the edge, and I don't spend money on anything but food, utilities, insurance, and our mortgage. I also need every last penny. My only point is that my friend down the hall needs it too. She will be getting a 100% cut, I will be getting a 5% cut. As hard as I think it will be, I just think most of us can absorb a little more so none of us have to go. It'll hurt bad, but I can only imagine how much worse it would hurt if I were being laid off. Forgive my passion. I'm just hoping someone out there has a similar opinion and that maybe, if enough of us ban together, we can accomplish these reductions through attrition only. I'm not saying anyone has to participate. I'm just wondering if anyone else out there would volunteer.

Heck...I may be laid off as well, in which case none of this will matter. I'm on the bubble apparently. But if I have to go, I have to go. I'll make due. I just hate to see anyone else suffer.

Submitted by dollaradayandno... on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 3:16pm.

Well of course you can give back more!

In all likelihood you make more money with more benefits than 50% of our working people in the USA!

The fact that you don't have a family second income is not the taxpayers responsibility!

Submitted by tryingtosurvive on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 12:02pm.


G35 Dude's picture
Submitted by G35 Dude on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 11:05am.

If Decotis and his staff took the same 5 percent cut we could probably keep everyone after attrition. But we know thats not going to happen. So since he must maintain his level of greed I'll agree with you and say that if another 2-3% can keep everyone working (And I think that would more than do it)sign me up.

Submitted by real one on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 8:12pm.

Decotis wont take a cut he doesn't care anymore he knows his days are numbered. Besides whats 4.5% of $215,000+ when you have teachers giving up 4.5% of $33,000. Rumor is Ellis is being groomed to take over. Imagine that!

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 5:56am.

In other school board news, overshadowed by Fayette county's fiscal mess, the Clayton county school board met on Wednesday to decide how much of a raise to give teachers next year.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 5:59am.

With all that has gone on there, are they better off financially than we are?

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 6:19am.

Oh, Clayton is hurting like every other county in the state.

Interestingly, they've told their hourly employees they will not get a pay raise next year. period. The teachers will get a small raise. They've implemented a no-exceptions hiring freeze at their central office. They've eliminated 4 high level administrative positions at the central office. They are cutting 10 days off of school psychologists, assistant principals and custodians. They've got 21 teaching vacancies and they are looking at increasing class sizes to avoid having to fill those positions.

In short, they're doing everything they can to protect the teachers.

Unlike Fayette.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 10:09am.

I just read somewhere that Clayton has something like 18 or 20+ mil. in their BOE reserves.

Maybe J.S. should apply for a job on that board.

They've also have some 3,500 less students than they did last year. I wonder where they all went?

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