Full-time certified Fulton County public school teachers have moved one step closer to receiving the $3,000 pay raise Gov. Brian Kemp promised teachers throughout the state in his gubernatorial campaign.

“We want to give all teachers, principals, assistant principals, counselors, media specialists, social workers, school psychologists and pre-K teachers the $3,000 increase, plus a mid-year step pay increase” said Fulton district Chief Financial Officer Robert Morales.

At the Fulton Board of Education’s regular meeting April 18 at the South Learning Center in Union City, it voted 7-0 to tentatively adopt the district’s fiscal 2020 (the 2019-20 academic year) general fund budget of $1.07 billion, which includes the pay raises.

The final vote on the budget by the board is scheduled at its May 16 meeting.

This year’s budget represents a 2% increase over the school system’s 2018-19 budget but currently there is no recommended change in the millage rate for fiscal 2020.

In addition, the budget calls for a three percent salary increase for paraprofessionals, parent liaisons, school bus drivers and transportation assistants.

“If a school employee is not in any of these positions, they will get a 2% pay hike,” Morales said.

During the legislative session, it looked as though Kemp’s plan for a $3,000 pay raise would be decreased when the House voted to trim the raise to $2,775, a $225 reduction.

However, the legislative conference committee restored the raise to $3,000, which the General Assembly approved.

According to Morales, the raises would not be distributed in a lump sum but, for example, those employees considered full time, meaning they are on a 235-day contract with the district, the raise would be divided into 24 increments for those paid twice a month.

“Those who are on a full-time contract with Fulton County would see their raise indicated on July 15 while those on a 190-day contract would see their raise Aug. 15,” he said.

Board President Linda Bryant said the group was pleased to provide additional compensation for he school system’s employees.

“Our current five-year strategic plan has a pillar of emphasis entitled ‘People and Culture,’ and compensation is one of the ways we recognize our people,” she said. “We watched with interest as Gov. Kemp recommended, along with the concurrence of the Georgia General Assembly, a $3,000 salary increase for our teachers and we are delighted to share that increase, as well as an additional mid-year increase next January for those employees who meet the criteria.”

Bryant said the budget development process is always a collaborative effort with the school board, superintendent and staff.

“We appreciate those who have worked diligently to provide us with information and recommendations based on our modified zero-based budgeting formula,” she said.

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