With less than a week to go until Day One in Atlanta Public Schools, the Atlanta Board of Education on Monday, August 5, unanimously approved adjustments for the FY2020 budget, which means the APS General Fund budget now includes additional pay raises for our employees … as promised!
As I wrote in my June 28 blog, this adjustment became possible because revenue growth in the Fulton County Tax Digest for 2019 (FY2020) came in stronger than anticipated over the summer. That enabled the District to adjust revenue assumptions for local tax revenue by about $7.5 million or 1.3%. This increase allowed us to fund a number of unfunded priorities in the FY2020 budget, including additional compensation for our employees.
I’ve written about this before, but I want to recap the following compensation changes from the original budget:
- Teacher pay raises increase from average 3.3% (about $2,000) to average 4.85% (about $3,000)
- Instructional support pay raises increase from average 2.3% to average 3.2%
- One-time payment for eligible teacher and instructional support employees who are off step increases from $1,000 to $3,000
- Non-Teacher pay grades 125-150 receive a 1% increase in addition to the step raise previously approved (total = 2.2%)
- No changes to Non-Teacher pay grades 111-124; still receive the same step and 1% pay raise previously approved (total = 2.45%)
- One-time payment for eligible non-teaching employees who are off step increases from $700 to $1,000
- Teacher career pathway stipends increase for department chair (MS & HS), grade-level team lead (elementary) and cooperating teacher; new stipend added for lead campus-based mentor
- Implement remaining pay parity recommendations for JROTC local supplement and stipend adjustments, and converting 42 hourly bus monitors and 38 special education paraprofessionals to full time with benefits
It will, however, take a little more than a month to catch all of our eligible employees up on the compensation changes. Based on our plan to phase in the raises, teachers and other non-annual employees will receive their new FY2020 compensation beginning with their first paycheck of the new school year by August 30th, as normal. Then, eligible annual duty employees will receive the additional compensation, plus retro pay, by the September 30th paycheck.
I’m so grateful that the Board and our hard-working taxpayers were able to make this happen a week before Day One! Although we were able to provide raises, we always strive to compensate and do more for our deserving employees. I hope everyone in the APS community is as excited as I am about this new year and about continuing the work of ensuring that our students have choice-filled lives!