This year Gwinnett County Public Schools teachers will be getting more money than previously expected.
The county’s school board voted Thursday to amend the district’s fiscal year 2022 budget to increase the planned cost-of-living salary raises already included in the budget for the teacher salary scale by an extra $1,000.
The district had budgeted raising the salary on each step of the salary scale by $1,000 this year. The budget amendment approved this week, however, changes that to a $2,000 raise for each step on the scale.
“Our teachers are the backbone of the school district and we must continue to look for ways to better compensate them for the critical work they do,” GCPS Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks said. “This salary adjustment allows Gwinnett County Public Schools to do just that.
“In addition to sending a clear message that the district values its educators, this change positions the district so that its pay for teachers remains competitive with other districts in the metro Atlanta area.”
Essentially, every veteran Gwinnett County Public Schools who was employed by the district last year and is returning this year is getting a $2,000 raise while new teachers will begin their tenures at a higher than previously expected salary.
Looking at starting level salaries for a new teacher with a bachelor’s degree education level and who is starting with the district this year, they will be paid $48,646 for the year. The starting pay for a new teacher during the 2020-2021 school year was $46,646.
Wilbanks said better than expected growth in the county’s tax digest prompted the higher raises. The district had been planning for 2% growth in the tax digest, but the superintendent said the digest actually ended up growing by upwards of 5%.
“The digest came in at a greater rate than anticipated last year and we are experiencing greater growth this year than the district initially budgeted,” Wilbanks said. “With this information, I was comfortable in recommending a change to our pay scale for teachers.
The change to the cost-of-living adjustment does not affect the raises GCPS employees who are not on the teacher salary scale, however. They were also set to get raises this year, but district officials said those raises will remain the 2% cost-of-living increase that district had included in the budget adopted earlier this summer.
District officials said teachers will see the salary change in August, when they receive their first paychecks of the contract year.