Georgia District May Ask Teachers to Give Back Raises

One school district may ask for pay raises back to avoid layoffs.

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Plummeting property values and state budget cuts are forcing many school districts to make tough decisions. Case in point: A cash-strapped school district in Fayette County, Ga., is considering asking teachers and other school employees to give up recent pay raises. Teachers there are not too happy about it.

The paycheck givebacks would save the Fayette County Public Schools $2 million and might help the district avoid layoffs, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. But for the district—which faces a $1.8 million budget deficit—to recover the money, all school employees would have to agree. (A survey is going out to all employees this month.) Several school board members favor the idea, citing a similar gesture on the part of teachers in a school district in Maryland. But several teachers in Fayette County who were interviewed on the first day of the new school term seemed leery of the idea.

Fayette County teachers don't have union representation. Jeff Hubbard, president of the state teacher union, has criticized the proposal.

If the district's employees agree to give back their raises, they would take unpaid leave and would not have to return any money. Two board members said they had received calls from teachers saying they would give up their raises to avoid seeing colleagues lose their jobs.

What's next? School districts cutting down to four days a week? Never mind—that's already happened.

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