I recently encouraged a friend – who is an eight-year teacher with a master’s degree in Cobb County – to move to Newnan.
I was disappointed when she informed me that she can’t afford the pay cut. A glaring example of the differences between the two counties is the 8-12 percent salary raise that Cobb County is implementing for teachers beginning next school year – in addition to the raise promised by Governor Kemp for Georgia teachers state-wide. Calculating the base 8 percent raise, she’ll earn $1500 per month more to remain in Cobb County.
Coweta homebuyers pay more to purchase a home than in many surrounding counties. For nine months of the year, students spend a majority of their time in school. It makes sense that our property taxes should be used to increase the salaries of our teachers.
The highest paid public official in Coweta County is School Superintendent Steve Barker who, in 2016, was receiving an annual salary of $201,289. According to online records, the average salary for our elementary teachers is currently $61,000. High school teachers get paid an average of $59,000.
My point is not to begrudge our school superintendent’s salary, but to draw attention to our teachers who deserve a substantial pay raise.
We can attract, and keep, great teachers by offering them a higher salary than what our county offers. They’re worth it – and, most importantly, our children are worth it.
Sue A. Wilks