Teachers’ group: Fayette salaries not so special

For all the talk about “what makes Fayette County schools special” that special category does not apply to the pay teachers receive.

That assertion was the central theme last week pressed by Fayette teacher and PAGE (Professional Association of Georgia Educators) member Diane Basham at the regular meeting of the Fayette County Board of Education.

Basham provided board members with the results of a Metropolitan Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) report for the current school year that showed Fayette teachers rank closer to the bottom than to the top of the 68 small and large school systems surveyed.

A portion of the Teacher Salary Survey centered on pay levels for entry level teachers (T-4), those with 10 years experience (T-5) and a master's degree, and those with 20 years (T-6) and a specialist degree.

Basham pointed out that Fayette County ranks #42 out of 68 school systems in its $35,082 pay to entry level (T-4) teachers. The Atlanta School System tops the pay list at $44,312 while the low is Meriwether County at 33,424.

Significant in the survey was Fayette’s ranking in 18 of the the state’s larger school districts (student populations ranging from 20,000-45,000). Within that ranking Fayette was next to the bottom with only Richmond County paying less. The Fayette pay scale for T-4 teachers is a few hundred to a few thousand dollars below all other metro Atlanta school systems surveyed. Though not a part of the survey, Basham said Coweta County’s rate of pay for T-4 teachers would have placed it at #26.

Fayette County did slightly better for its more experienced teachers. Teachers with 10 years (T-5) receive $52,300, which places the school system at #39 out of the 68 surveyed. Top pay went to the Atlanta School System with a 10-year rate of $73,114 while Meriwether County came in last at $57,825. Fayette’s pay for T-5 teachers was below that of the other large metro Atlanta school systems surveyed.

Fayette teachers with 20 years experience (T-6) fared no better than their counterparts with 10 years. Fayette again ranked #36 out of 68, with T-6 salaries at $68,784. That compares to the $80,426 top pay from the Atlanta School System and the low of $65,343 shared by Candler, Screven, Tattnall, Haralson and Meriwether counties. And for the T-6 schedule, Fayette again ranked below the other large metro Atlanta school systems.

Basham in her presentation referenced the 4.5 percent pay cut that became effective last July and the school system’s growing General Fund surplus. The bottom line, she said, is that PAGE is concerned about the future of Fayette County schools and recommends that the school board avoid further cuts in salaries and benefits and give employees input when considering additional cuts. Basham also raised the concern that cuts are being discussed based on financial projections that might be inaccurate.

“We can only pray that you make decisions in the best interest of the school system,” Basham said.

Davids mom
Davids mom's picture
Joined: 10/30/2005
Fayette Teachers

Teachers deliver the service (work) that produces the product (students succeeding) - along with parents and a supportive community. I'm sure that the teachers in Fayette County appreciate their working conditions and community support - but you may lose some in this economical crisis. This community is so fortunate to have teachers who have already worked for more hours than they were paid for - but to ask them to work for less money - and expect the same results with less support and more responsibility (larger class sizes) is asking a lot! I hope the BOE does some creative thinking outside the box - and keeps this county’s excellent educational program.

september's picture
Joined: 09/04/2009
Fayette Salaries

$61,422????? Where did that figure come from? According to my salary schedule 10 years at a T-5 (master’s degree) earns $49,251, and 20 years with a T-6 (specialist) earns $65,618 not $69,266. If you have 20 years at a T-5 you are only making 57,075. Remember 4% cut and 3 furlough days? Most teachers will be putting in much more than 7.5 hours of over time, during the end of the school year, to make up for the cut in planning time. Fayette BOE should be ashamed of itself. Test scores, student achievement and quality schools should have the BOE trying to figure out when our salaries will return to pre-recession pay!

allegedteacher's picture
Joined: 03/21/2009
teachers' salaries return to pre-recession pay-Can you say NEVER

That very issue was posed to the BOE's comptroller at a tete-a-tete with a group of teachers this week. Her response was...no more pay cuts are "on the table," but everything else that amounts to a pay cut IS. Eventually, "everything else" came out to be benefits, fewer contract days, etc. Oh, and guess what?! It is a really, really good thing that Rivers is populated by a handful of students and a bloated special education staff...because the pipes broke in the building when it was so cold, and, if there had been no one there, we would have had one big mess. Gosh, I'm glad the BOE has our backs when it comes to maintaining a near-empty, expensive, useless building. Guess that's where my 4.5% went.

Dondol's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
4.5% is not that bad

In April of 2002 American Airlines non-union employees took an 18% pay cut to try and save there company from bankruptcy due to the 9-11 attacks and subsequent downturn in air travel. It took 8 years for the employees to get their salaries back to 2002 levels and that is where they still are today, living in 2010 making 2002 wages but they saved their company from going bankrupt and they are the only Airline in operation today that will get their full retirements. With that said 4.5% doesn't look to bad.

opusman's picture
Joined: 08/08/2008
Not a pi#*#*g contest

4.5% plus furlough days so more than 10% for
some. Last time I checked teacher and staff salaries are not on the same
level as airline salaries. Also you are talking about completely
different circumstances as to cause and effect. FCBOE situation is a direct result
of fiscal mismanagement and irresponsibility not terrorist attacks. American only impacted
a portion( non union) of employees and is tragic none the less. Ga teachers and staff are non union.
Ga is a right to work state unless you work for the airlines , ups, auto..etc. Cuts are hard but when
the time comes for you .... You will fight to protect what you see as your best interest..

"Invinciblity lies in the defense and
the possibility of victory in the attack".

Dondol's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006

I was not trying to start a Pissing contest, just trying say that they are not the only one's out there that have had to take a paycut in order to save their jobs. And I whole heartily agree that its not their fault, I spend alot of time in the local schools so I see what its done to morale. As for salary levels, my wife has been with the airline for 28 years and she only makes 7,000 a year more than the starting salary that was posted online for Fayette county (the pilots are the only one's that make a descent living) .

opusman's picture
Joined: 08/08/2008
Point taken

Point taken anyone who has a job should be thankful....
But don't keep p#€€#*g down their back and tell them it's a therapeutic
shower. Also we are talking about teachers and support staff custodians, bus
drivers, cafeteria workers etc

Ps in education it's the administration making the money.

opusman's picture
Joined: 08/08/2008
Current FCBOE Salary Schedule

Here is the link to Fcboe Hr site with the fy 2010 teacher salary schedule
please note this is after the 4.5% paycut and before the 3 furlough days


"Invincibility lies in the defense;
The possibility of victory in the
Attack."  SUN TZU

Science Teacher
Science Teacher's picture
Joined: 04/27/2010
Certification Levels

Just a note on some misinformation in this article... T-4 indicates that a teacher is certified and holds a bachelor's degree. A T-5 certification represents a master's degree, T-6 a specialist's degree, and teachers with a doctorate degree hold a T-7 certificate.

A teacher with 30 years will still be certified at the T-4 level if he/she has not earned graduate degrees and upgraded the certification level.