Teachers in Liberty County, just like teachers around the state, can look forward to a 2 percent salary increase for the 2017-18 school year.
The only question is how teachers will receive that increase.
Georgia lawmakers passed Gov. Nathan Deal’s $25 billion state budget for the 2018 fiscal year, which includes $160 million for the salary increase for teachers.
Last year, Liberty County School System’s classified and certified staff received a 3 percent increase.
Jason Rogers, executive director of maintenance and operations for the school district, said at Tuesday’s board meeting there are different ways the increase can be given.
“You can build it into the salary scales, but that’s something you want to make sure you can continue from this point forward,” Rogers said. “What a lot of school districts are planning to do, and what a lot of school districts did do, is have a one-time bonus, one-time payment to reflect the increase.”
Superintendent Dr. Valya Lee said Tuesday that last year she “recommended we fund the 3 percent but a lot of my colleagues in RESA (Regional Educational Service Agencies) didn’t give that 3 percent raise, they gave a bonus twice this year. It’s interesting how the money comes because they may give you the 2 percent then they may take it back in austerity (cuts) mid-year or take it back in equalization.”
She doesn’t want to “jump out there and not be able to sustain it in time,” which she said could lead to furlough days. Lee said she will make a recommendation to the board on how to give teachers the increase after reviewing the fiscal 2018 budget.