Atlanta Public Schools is giving some of its employees a raise.

At its monthly meeting Aug. 3, the Atlanta Board of Education approved increasing the minimum wage for the district’s full-time employees from $12.70 to $15 per hour.

“With Atlanta Public Schools’ focus on equity and ensuring that we retain high-quality staff, I am thrilled that this pay raise will benefit some of our lowest-paid workers and continue to support our ongoing recruitment efforts,” Superintendent Lisa Herring, Ed.D, said in a news release. “As we move forward, I am hopeful that we will be able to implement the other strategies our human resources team developed in partnership with teachers and staff, including teacher pay raises, stipends for high needs schools and subject areas, and converting the remaining hourly special education paraprofessionals to full time with benefits.”

The pay raise covers the following positions: clerks, custodians, food assistants, in-school suspension (ISS) monitors, non-instructional aides, paraprofessionals, parent liaisons, school bus monitors and school bus drivers. Bus drivers and monitors will also see their base pay increase from a minimum of four hours per day to a minimum of six.

The district suggested the pay increase after reviewing the results of a survey of principals and teachers, local market compensation studies and focus groups such as its teacher advisory committee. The raise is effective Aug. 3 and will be included in paychecks starting Aug. 31.

A nationwide campaign to increase the hourly minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 started in 2012 with fast-food restaurant workers and expanded to all employees paid at that level. In July 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by October 2025, but the bill stalled in the U.S. Senate.

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