Thanks to some budget tweaks, Atlanta Public Schools’ employees are getting raises and bonuses.
“I am thrilled that we are in a position to be able to do this for our employees,” district Superintendent Lisa Herring said in a news release. “These are a few ways in which this administration and the Atlanta Board of Education want to not just thank our teachers and other staff members for their extraordinary work and dedication, but reward them as well.”
Herring’s comments came after the board’s April 12 meeting, where it unanimously voted to approve adjustments to the district’s fiscal 2021 operating budget that include a $2.8 million rise in local revenue and a $8.2 million increase from the state for a year-end 2% salary increase and a retention bonus.
In January, Gov. Brian Kemp called for giving teachers across the state a $1,000 bonus, and in March the State Board of Education approved the measure. But the bonuses did not go to all public school employees in Georgia.
So, according to the release, the Atlanta district decided to provide one-time $1,000 payments to all full-time staff and $500 to all part-time (hourly) staff and permanent substitutes. These bonuses will appear in paychecks April 30.
The Atlanta district is also moving ahead with a plan, originally scheduled for fiscal 2022, to give a 2% across-the-board increase to all of the workers' pay scales. Most eligible employees will start seeing these increases appear on paychecks starting May 15.
This plan would allow the district to start some of the fiscal 2022 proposals this school year, get employees their higher wages earlier and increase the likelihood of funding some of the other important compensation initiatives out of next year’s budget.
The district was able to provide extra pay because spending over the last year has been lower than expected but tax collections have been higher than projected. Also, the state is funding the retention bonus plan for more positions than expected.
The district’s fiscal 2022 budget is expected to be approved at the board’s June 7 meeting and will go into effect July 1.