With the General Assembly’s approval of the state budget for fiscal year 2020, teachers and other certified school staff in Georgia could see up to $3,000 more annually, beginning July 1.
Marietta Superintendent Grant Rivera said the district will be taking the raises a step further. The Cobb School District has not yet presented how that increase will be applied to its staff.
The approved $3,000 salary increase covers all teachers and certified school staff, including social workers, counselors, media specialists, administrators and psychologists, among others. Non-certified staff, along with all other state employees, will receive a 2% raise.
The state budget provides a starting salary for all public school teachers, and local school systems may supplement the salary with more money. If a local school system pays its teachers more than the minimum state salary, the local district could provide less than the full $3,000, according to Rep. Terry England, R-Auburn, who chairs the state House Appropriations Committee.
“Theoretically they could lower their local supplement and do an offset even though that would not be advisable,” England said.
Rivera said Tuesday that Marietta teachers begin above the state minimum salary, but all certified staff in the Marietta system will still receive the full $3,000, which represents an average raise of 6%.
He also said the school system will extend the 6% pay raise to all non-certified staff, including paraprofessionals, bus drivers, maintenance and food service workers.
“By giving raises to all certified and non-certified staff, even those not included in the governor’s budget, we are making a value statement about the importance of all employees in the success of our students, schools and community,” Rivera said.
Cobb School District officials have not yet revealed how the raises will be implemented in the district. No additional details will be available until the district’s chief financial officer, Brad Johnson, and his staff present the 2020 budget recommendations to Superintendent Chris Ragsdale at the April 24 school board meeting, according to Nan Kiel, a spokeswoman for the district.
The Cobb School District also pays its teachers more than the minimum state salary, which could mean Cobb teachers may not see the full $3,000 raise, said Connie Jackson, president of the Cobb County Association of Educators. Jackson said she does, however, anticipate the county’s teachers and all other staff — certified or not — may receive a raise, around 2% to 2.5%.
“One thing that I’m always proud of in Cobb is that we have always given raises — during my tenure — that are across the board. I think that is a very big distinction, because it says that every employee is valuable. And I anticipate this raise will be the same,” she said.
Of the record $27.5 billion state budget approved by the General Assembly for 2020, more than 38%, or $10.6 billion, will go to K-12 education, according to England.
England said the raise is the largest in the state’s history and represents a “healthy down payment” on Gov. Brian Kemp’s campaign promise of raising teacher salaries by $5,000 during his first term.