In his state of the state address, Governor Deal promised significantly more money for education. Working with the Legislature, k-12 education received an additional $25 million or so in the amended fiscal year 2014 budget, over and above $135 million for enrollment growth. Additionally, there was as an additional $314 million the fiscal year 2015 budget over the previous year’s funding. The desire was expressed by the Governor and Legislative leaders that some of this money be used for teacher raises. However based on what Legislators heard from Superintendents and local Boards of Education, raises for teachers were not mandated.
Two of the state’s largest school systems will indeed raise the salaries and wages of teachers and other employees. Cobb will end furlough days, hire new teachers and give all employees a raise.
Public school employees in Gwinnett also received some good news:
For the first time since the 2008-09 school year, employees will receive a cost-of-living raise of two percent, and teachers will receive the first step increase, a calculation based on experience, since 2009-10. Ninety eight percent of teachers will receive a step increase and a cost-of-living raise, and the average salary increase will be 3.8 percent.
Bus drivers will receive a $1.25 per hour increase, while school nutrition workers will receive a 51 cents per hour raise as the district aims to close the cap with other school districts around metro Atlanta.