It looks like Georgia’s certified teachers could get the full $3,000 pay raise Gov. Brian Kemp promised.
Early Thursday morning the Senate Appropriations added back the $225 taken away in the House version – and still made sure librarians and counselors will get the hike.
“I think it’s time. I think it’s time that to do the pay raise just as the governor has promised,” said Chairman of Senate Appropriations Sen. Jack Hill.
In his State of the State address in January, the governor said he would make a $3,000 down payment on his campaign promise of $5,000 raises for Georgia teachers.
Then came concerns by counselors, librarians and other certified educators that the raise would not include them. The House Appropriations Committee decided to add another 9,800 educators, but, to keep the overall costs the same, the committee cut the raise by $225, bringing it down to $2,775. However, on Thursday, Senate Appropriations found a way to go back to $3,000 raises by moving the start date for the raises to September.
“The numbers vary depending on when you start the pay raise," Hill said. "If you start it in September, it’s a lesser figure for 10 months, which is traditionally when we start pay raises for teachers. But, if we move it back to August or July, it would cost more. So, it’s about $40 million difference in the two months.”
Teachers groups praised the move.
“I’m super excited for our educators across Georgia,” said Kendra Cotton, a lobbyist with the Georgia Association of Educators. “This is phenomenal, the fact that the legislature saw fit to go ahead and fulfill the full $3,000 down payment that the governor promised.”