Teachers in Liberty County are paid as much or more than their colleagues across the state of Georgia, according to Liberty County School System Chief Financial Officer Roger Reese.
Reese presented the findings of a salary survey, conducted by the Metropolitan Regional Education Service Agency, at Tuesday’s board of education meeting. The survey compared the salary scales of 54 school districts throughout the state.
Districts are broken down into three size categories based on student enrollment. With 10,014 students, Liberty falls into the medium category. The survey also accounts for teachers’ levels of education: bachelor’s degrees are ranked as T-4, master’s degrees as T-5, specialists are T-6 and doctorate degrees are classified T-7.
Within the 1st District RESA — comprised of Bulloch, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Screven, Tattnall and Wayne counties — T-4 level teachers with zero to three years of creditable experience are paid the most in Chatham County, at $36,189. Effingham, Glynn and Liberty counties all are comparable seconds, at $35,174, $35,497 and $35,201, respectively.
However, at seven years of creditable experience, Effingham, Glynn and Liberty jump ahead of Chatham’s pay rates by roughly $3,000, a trend that continues as teachers in Liberty gain more experience. By 17 years of creditable experience, Liberty and Glynn lead all other systems in the First District RESA at just over $50,000 per year.
Reese also looked at Liberty’s pay rates in comparison with larger districts, such as those in the Metro RESA, as well as a few select districts, such as Bryan, Ware and Camden.
“We found that Liberty County is equitable and, in most cases, exceeding most of those districts in terms of our compensation,” he said.
Reese also pointed out that Liberty requires its teachers to work 184 days per year, whereas most districts require 190, making Liberty one of the higher-paying districts in terms of daily rates.
In other business, the board approved acceptance of a bid totaling $280,708 for the upgrade of security measures at the district’s three middle schools. According to LCSS Chief Administrative Officer Jason Rogers, the upgrades will replicate Bradwell Institute’s security measures.
The board also approved the replacement of seven surplused vehicles with six new vehicles. For a total of $128,100.04, the district will acquire four Ford Fusions or some equivalents, one Ford F-150 truck or equivalent and one Ford F-450 box van or equivalent. Funding for the vehicles will come from the district’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax money.
The board also heard an update regarding the district’s charter application process from Chief Academic Officer Mary Alexander, who sat in for Superintendent Dr. Valya Lee, who was out due to a death in the family.
Alexander said that a letter has been sent to state officials, informing them of Liberty County’s decision to take the charter-system option. She also presented a timeline for the charter application.
According to Alexander, an outline of the application should be prepared by Aug. 15, followed by a first draft Sept. 15. By Oct. 15, the application should be finalized, and the board should be voting for approval of the application Oct. 28, Alexander said.