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Handouts for the Hand that Feeds

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One cash-strapped school district in Georgia is considering an unorthodox way to avoid budget cuts—asking teachers to donate their raises.

Officials in Fayette County, Ga., might ask teachers to voluntarily donate a pay raise to aid their cash-strapped district, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The local school board decided they had nothing to lose when writing the letter asking for the donation this week.

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” board member Dr. Bob Todd told the newspaper. Board Member Janet Smola added, “I think it’d be silly if we didn’t ask the question.”

The proposal asks teachers to donate the future earnings of a 2.5 percent pay raise given last spring. If accepted by all county employees, the district could find an extra $4 million in their budget. With diminished property tax revenues and a slashed state education budget, the bonus would be a big help.

“We feel like we owe it to our employees to let them tell us,” said school spokeswoman Melinda Berry-Dreisbach in a follow-up report. “If we don’t get 100 percent, it wouldn’t be fair to look at it.”

4 Comments

This just makes me wonder, how many administrators, superintendants and office staff are being asked to do the same? Is it my imagination, or do these jobs, which often pay 4x as much as a teacher salary, seem to be better candidates for a loss of raise?

Data shows that administrative salaries have risen at a higher rate over the last 20 years years than have teacher salaries. Where else are they cutting? It is hard to expect consumer spending to rise, leading to a relief from the economic crisis, when employees are losing jobs and salary increases, in an already low-paying profession, are returned to the employer or frozen. Where is the school board going to spend the returned salary increases? Purchasing unnecessary equipment from outside vendors?

Data shows that administrative salaries have risen at a higher rate over the last 20 years years than have teacher salaries. Where else are they cutting? It is hard to expect consumer spending to rise, leading to a relief from the economic crisis, when employees are losing jobs and salary increases, in an already low-paying profession, are returned to the employer or frozen. Where is the school board going to spend the returned salary increases? Purchasing unnecessary equipment from outside vendors?

A few years ago, the teachers in our school district decided to help out the school by agreeing to freeze salaries for a year. All that happened was that the district fought with us about a 3% raise the next year, didn't acknowledge the sacrifices we'd made and carried on life as usual.

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