Cobb School Board members to debate teachers’ earnings
by Hannah Morgan
September 15, 2013 12:09 AM | 3737 views | 13 13 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Three Cobb school board members will meet Monday to discuss an alternative way of paying teachers that could be based on merit rather than experience.

A board subcommittee of Chairman Randy Scamihorn and members David Morgan and Tim Stultz was formed at the request of Morgan to examine the topic.

The group plans to evaluate compensation and consider what other options there are for paying teachers, taking into consideration student test scores, teacher experience and degree level.

Almost 90 percent of the school district’s general fund goes to salary and benefits for teachers.

The current pay scale is based on experience, certification and degree level of teachers.

Morgan believes there might be other ways Cobb can pay teachers based on different variables like student test scores.

“We need to use variables that correlate with student achievement. Don’t just do things the way it always has been,” he said.

The subcommittee will hear different compensation options that have worked in other school districts in a teleconference with James Wyckoff, director of the Center on Education Policy and Workforce Competitiveness at the University of Virginia.

The meeting is expected to have some turnout. Teacher compensation in Cobb is a hot issue, because teachers don’t want to see pay cuts.

The average Cobb County public school teacher makes $75,000 annually, including benefits, and an average of $56,000, without benefits, said Brad Johnson, the district’s chief financial officer.

“We want to make sure Cobb County is leading the way on teacher compensation, and that it is fair and equitable, that teachers stay informed and have input … but we want to make sure it doesn’t become pay for student test scores,” said Connie Jackson, the president of the Cobb County Association of Educators.

John Adams, co-founder of Educator’s First, a teacher organization in Cobb County, is wary of the board’s discussion.

“I’m really skeptical that (a new) system is going to be any better than what it currently is,” he said.

Adams is worried that teacher pay will come down to, “whether or not your supervisor likes you.”

Bottom line, “I want to make sure our county gets it right,” Jackson said.

The meeting will take place Monday at 6 p.m. in the board room, at 514 Glover St. in Marietta.

Comments
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Jane W.
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September 16, 2013
Teachers' unions will never sign onto education reform. Why quote them or their representatives? Instead of educating kids, their focus is on electing Democrats and maintaining the failed status quo.
Always Union BS
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September 16, 2013
Jane your tiring response to any education article... Teacher Unions !! Let's repeat again there are NO Teachers Unions in Georgia, it's against the law. By the way Ed First is a non-partisan Educator Association.

Current Education reform is to defund public schools, blame teachers and repeat until public schools are closed and the perfect for profit private schools take over with the Koch Brothers agenda. Leaving kids who don't meet a certain 'criteria' to fend for themselves.

Go iron your white sheets Jane I'm sure you have a meeting to attend.
here we go again
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September 15, 2013
The committee is made of with Morgan who wants the district to loose teachers to bring in charter schools and teach for America. Stultz wants to get rid of most teachers for an online baby sitting class. And Scamihorn who will not have the balls to stand up for what is right for the teachers. He has forgotten what it is like in the schools and really does not care. At least other counties in the area will benefit for Cobb loosing their good teachers. Please balance the budget but not like this.
Hmnmm
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September 15, 2013
Why would anyone want to teach at a low performing school if their raises is based on students who don't care if they are there or don't care if they learn or not? And the adults at home don't care either...
Welcome to Cobb
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September 15, 2013
There is little chance that a fair system will be designed, much less implemented. Talk of a merit system based on test scores is a smoke screen for lowering salaries. Given the yearly fluctuations in student class aptitudes and parental involvement, the teacher who is unlucky enough to be assigned those students that have shown a lack of ability, no motivation, or have behavior problems for whatever reason, will be unfairly judged on their test scores. The teacher will be expected to undo possibly years of problems and "turn them around" in a short period of time or face problems with the administration after end of year testing.

The administration already works against teachers with more busy work, meetings and constant changes in curriculum (to justify someone's job on Glover St). If they thought there was a problem with teacher morale before, wait till an even more unfair system is implemented based on test scores. Some things can not be quantified in a neat little package. Letting school board members, some of whom are marginally qualified to even be where they are, brain storm ideas about changing the educational system is laughable and sad at the same time.
MCS Teacher
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September 17, 2013
Look at what the Marietta City School district is working on. It's fair and reasonable. It figures in growth, not highest performance. For what I've seen, it sounds like it will work to benefit most teachers.
CCSD Teacher
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September 15, 2013
Where's that $75,000 they are talking about?
anonymous
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September 16, 2013
That includes the cost of benefits. They do cost the district money, 30-36% of base salary for their part of retirtement and insurance. Soon the government will be taxing you on that.
anonymous
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September 15, 2013
and teachers say they are under paid. An average salary of $56,000 for about 185 days of work. Not too bad. Any new plan needs to figure a way to get rid of the true dead wood, like those that do not like to come to work. That goes for non- teachers as well. You voluntarily came to work with the schools, so show that you really want to be there or you are not needed. You provide no use or benefit when not at work. Why are they so afraid of enforcing some tough attendance policies? Maybe because they know the top dogs all abuse it as well. Has anyone ever looked at attendance of the central office staff?
math teacher
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September 16, 2013
ok let's do a problem, Anonymous:

part 1:

40 hrs/wk X 50 wks (2 week vacation)= 2000 hrs at your go home-and-forget-about-it job.

now, part 2:

55 hrs/wk (minimum) X 40 weeks of school =2,200 hrs

at my teaching job (where I actually work more than that every week, and not counting time in the summer spent taking classes and preparing.) After 26 years and 2 degrees beyond bachelors, I am making $60k, not $90k which is what I'd be making in corporate.

Do the math.
CobbTaxpayer
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September 15, 2013
Teachers' unions always oppose reforms that tie teacher pay to teacher effectiveness.

Lisa Jackson's CCAE is the local presence of the National Education Association -- the misnamed union heading the anti-reform effort, and the foremost one bankrolling the Democrat Party in hopes of avoiding reforms.

Interested readers should rent the film "Waiting For Superman" for more on this.
CCSD Teacher
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September 17, 2013
Until we put our money where our mouth is, nothing will change with teacher pay and respect for this profession. There are many talented teachers in our county, and they work incredibly hard under very difficult conditions; and I dare say there are hundreds of others who would like to go in to this profession but will not because of low pay and lack of advancement in pay. To all of those who continually complain that teachers are overpaid and have it made, go in to the profession yourself. Go earn a teaching degree, a masters, and Ed. S. see how you like working for 60 K and take the slings and arrows of everyone. No, it's not easy; and it's not for everyone. It's for those of us who love children and love to practice our craft. However, we deserve the respect AND pay for what we do. I am so saddened by what is happening in our profession and more, what is happening in our county. It used to be the envy of all metro teachers; not any more. Not when we are at the bottom of pay and respect. We need true leadership from the top down.
Lose teachers
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September 15, 2013
David Morgan and his wife need to find a new job. He should not even be on the board with all of the conflicting factors. The average teacher pay is totally misleading to the public. The average factors in administrators who make way more than teachers. The starting salary is for teachers is $36,000 and after 20 years of teaching you only have an increase to $ 48,000. With that said, there is no way to accomplish a merit based system with our demographics. Teachers in South Cobb and ESOL teachers would never get a raise. CCSD pay scale is already horrible with inconsistent increases and once you get to 15 years, it is a joke. You only get a raise every four or five years when you hit the twenty year mark. Sad that Morgan has no respect for teachers in public education, yet his district continues to vote him in! How about discussing giving our 2% that you cut and stopping furlough days? Spend time doing something productive!
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