March 26, 2009

Furloughs for Georgia's Educators?

Last week, Georgia State House Representative Edward Lindsey made a proposal to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education where he serves as chairman. In his proposal, Georgia's 125,000 educators would be furloughed during six planning days. This essentially means that every educator would lose six days of pay.

Six days of pay may not sound like that big of a deal to you. Of course, that is until you do the math. Look at your contract. It is for 190 days. Take your annual salary and divide it by 190. Now take that and multiply it by 6. That is the gross deduction in pay that you would be losing. For someone making $50,000, they have now lost $1,579 in pay. Of course, this would save Georgia $200 million.

Georgia's educators were just awarded a 2.5% cost of living increase for the 2009-2010 school year. By doing a bit of math, these same educators that thought they were getting raises would now lose 3.15% of their salary. Even with the raise factored in, Georgia's 125,000 educators would lose 0.74% of last year's salary.

On Wednesday, I wrote the letter at the bottom of this post to Representative Lindsey asking him to look at other alternatives. There must be some out there even beyond the one that I gave to him in my letter. I suggest reading the letter, doing some research, and discussing it with your colleagues. If this is a road that the legislature may go down, it is always better to have some alternatives for them to consider.

On Friday, I will post any and all of the responses I receive.

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