Furlough, system pay cuts for teachers
For a Hall County teacher with a four-year degree and 10 years experience who regularly makes $46,924 a year:
With 2.4 percent pay cut: $45,797 ($1,127 less over 12 months)
With three days furlough: $45,073.77 ($723.23 less over four months)
Total cut: $1,850.23
Source: Hall County Deputy Superintendent Lee Lovett
Mimi Mathis, a school counselor at McEver Elementary, will collect a smaller paycheck today. So will most teachers in Georgia.
Pay cuts from three state-ordered furlough days as well as district-implemented pay cuts take effect today for teachers. The cuts from furloughs will be spread out evenly in monthly paychecks from September to December.
System pay cuts for teachers also are activated today and will last for the next 11 months. Pay cuts for administrators began in July.
All Hall County school system employees will see 2.4 percent less money in their paychecks due to system cuts and about 1.6 percent less due to furloughs, said Hall County schools deputy superintendent Lee Lovett.
Gainesville teachers will see $75 less in their paycheck today on top of furlough cuts, said Gainesville Superintendent Merrianne Dyer. Other Gainesville school system employees, such as bus drivers, will take a $10 pay cut monthly and will dodge furloughs because they work only when students attend school.
"I think everybody’s feeling uncertainty until we see that paycheck. How do we budget? How do we plan?" Mathis said. "I think everybody understands what’s happening with the economy and everybody has to do their fair share, but they don’t have to like it."
Lovett said for a Hall County teacher with a 4-year degree and 10 years of teaching experience, the cuts amount to a $1,850 loss this year.
Mathis, an educator of 13 years, said she’s grateful for her job as she sees so many others lose theirs, but worries the pay cuts are affecting her upcoming retirement.
"My retirement is based on my best years, and now my best years will be in the past," she said. "You think your retirement will be based on your last years, but that’s not the case with the current economy."
Dyer said a forum with the Georgia School Boards Association and legislators warned educators these may not be the only cuts to education and teacher salaries this fiscal year, which ends June 30.
"There’s more furloughs coming. There will be more cuts, and it may even impact student days," she said.
Hall County Assistant Superintendent Richard Hill said educators around the state also will experience an increase in premiums of 10 percent across all health care plan options according to a memo from the Georgia Department of Community Health.