Kemp Proposes $2,000 Raise For Georgia Teachers

Governor Kemp has asked state departments to reduce their budgets so that the state can give teachers the remaining 2,000 dollars of his 2018 campaign promise to increase teachers’ salaries by 5,000 dollars. However, there have been a number of issues involved that worry Kemp, Georgia’s government, and teachers.

“I am happy to get any type of bonus, but am disappointed that it is less than promised,” said World History teacher Gregory Robisch. “Anytime that one receives an increase in pay, they become more motivated to work. When I was working as an engineer, each time we got a raise we were more motivated and dedicated to our work,” said math teacher John Frederic Priesmeyer.

Along with Kemp’s budget, the House Appropriations Committee says that the promised raise would go to, at max, about 100,000 teachers. “If you are going to make a promise like that you need to be able to base it off something, and be prepared to change anything else to keep that promise,” said English teacher Kathryn Bailey. One of the many issues involved with the raise is that Kemp’s plan cuts jobs and programs to accommodate the budget. “My main concern is about where the money is coming from; I still don’t understand if I'm taking the money from something that is cuttable or if I’m taking money from a special service that helps lower class citizens,” said English teacher Margret Verner. Due to the budget shortage issue, legislators and Kemp were attempting to cut programs to make the raise payable to teachers. “The only thing that scares me is that I’m taking money from people who need it more than I do,” said English teacher Alyssa Owen.

While Kemp said that the pay raise will involve all Georgia teachers, another issue is that some teachers, such as para-professionals, exceptional teachers, and reading specialists, may not get the raise. “If you’re giving raise to ‘all Georgia educators,’ then you should give it to all Georgia educators,” said English teacher Trianna Anderson.“It honestly makes me sad that they might not get that salary raise,” said Mild Intellectuals teacher Allison Motel. “[Para-professionals] are a huge part of my department and I do not know what I would do without them.”

“I feel as though money will be given to the district, but it will not be distributed to teachers, since we just got a raise,” said Social Studies teacher Jennifer Crawford. School districts can receive money from the government and decide what they want to do with the money when using it for their schools.

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