Report: Teacher wage disparity widens - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Report: Teacher wage disparity widens

It's getting harder for south Georgia schools systems to recruit teachers. (Source: WALB) It's getting harder for south Georgia schools systems to recruit teachers. (Source: WALB)
DCSS Spokesperson J.D. Sumner (Source: WALB) DCSS Spokesperson J.D. Sumner (Source: WALB)
DCSS hosts career fairs and sometimes offer signing bonuses and student loan forgiveness to recruit teachers. (Source: WALB) DCSS hosts career fairs and sometimes offer signing bonuses and student loan forgiveness to recruit teachers. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

It's getting harder for south Georgia schools systems to recruit teachers.

study from the Economic Policy Institute shows teachers pay continues to fall further behind salaries for other comparable workers in other professions.

The study shows salary and benefits for teachers are 11 percent behind comparable professions. That's the biggest gap ever.

Dougherty County school officials said it's a problem statewide.

The school moving to a charter system gives them more flexibility to pay teachers based on their skills and aptitude.

But they still struggle with retention and recruitment.

"Every profession starts with teaching and I think what we have to get back to as a society is valuing that and valuing education as a whole. And really building up teachers for what they are and that's the foundation of our economy," said DCSS Spokesperson J.D. Sumner.

DCSS hosts career fairs and sometimes offer signing bonuses and student loan forgiveness to recruit teachers.

Last year, the system conducted a survey that found the quantity of testing and the amount of data required teachers must collect from students were their top complaints, not wages.

The system plans to roll out a pilot program next year to put cameras in classrooms to record teachers, as a way to help new teachers.

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