Because of budget cuts, Peach State educators didn't get a raise at all last year. Many say a more significant raise is necessary to attract more people to the profession.
"We have one of the biggest responsibilities in a child's life outside their parents, and we don't feel appreciated right now."
Teachers in the Peach State say their responsibilities and standards keep rising, but one thing that isn't rising is the pay increases. They say no raise last year and a proposed one percent pay increase for next year isn't keeping up.
"One percent doesn't sound like a lot, because for so many years we got three percent. It was like clockwork," says Marie Lumpkin.
Teachers we spoke with have mixed reactions to the proposed increase. They say one percent is better than nothing, but it may not be enough to attract new teachers to the profession.
"We're going to have to offer a better pay package. There are a lot of other businesses like textbook companies who want teachers, and are offering much better salaries," says Harold Singletary.
Teachers across the state are pushing for a six percent pay increase to make up for last year, but some say they'll be happy with anything.
If the proposed pay increase goes through, teachers tell me it will be tacked onto their paychecks this July. Some are lobbying for more money themselves, and many hope parents will stand behind them and lobby as well.
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