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Recommendations from the education reform commission
Hill Jack
Sen. Jack Hill

Priority Level 1—Recommendation No. 1—Develop guidance to developing strategic compensation models for teachers possibly including: teacher involvement in the creation of compensation models, allow current teachers options of old or new plans, consider reimbursing costs of advanced degrees rather than salary increases tied to degrees, providing additional pay or signing bonuses for high needs subjects and hard to staff schools, additional pay for additional responsibilities, additional compensation for Teacher Leader Certification and opportunities for higher salary levels earlier in career.

Current law allows for systems to develop new compensation systems under IE2 and Charter Systems.

Recommendation No. 2—Increase K-12 funding allowing local systems to recruit, retain and reward the most effective teachers and allow

Georgia teacher salaries to be competitive with other states and with private industry.

Research showed that teachers improve the most during the first few years but pay is relatively flat during the first five years of teaching.

The goal is to reward excellent teachers and retain them in the classroom instead of losing them to administrative positions just for salary increases.

Priority Level 2—Recommendation No. 1—Provide grants to support districts in developing strong teacher induction programs.
Rationale is because of the high loss rate of new teachers (only 28 percent remain for at least 10 years) and the declining (16 percent) numbers enrolling in collegiate schools of education.

Estimated cost: $367,716 for additional Induction Specialists.

Recommendation No. 2—Keep teacher planning time as top priority. Add evaluations for principals climate survey for this accomplishment.

Rationale: This is a top interest item statewide in interaction with teachers.

Estimated Cost: 0

Recommendation No. 3—Encourage the General Assembly and state Department of Education (DOE) to implement guidelines for best use and respect of teacher’s instructional time. To include a return to a “normal” curricular adoption cycle with no major changes within the six year cycle, consider thoughtfully new legislation adding new requirements for educators and repeal any possible requirements, encourage regional and state-wide collaboration to make SLO assessments more consistent, and support full implementation of the teacher career ladder and participation in the top levels of Tiered Certification model.

Rationale is the overwhelming workload on teachers not directly tied to active educating and instruction. Examples include CCGPS, GSE, Milestones, SLOs, Integrated Math, TKES, LKES and various new laws and rules from the legislature and State Board.

Estimated cost: Should save money

Recommendation No. 4—Investigate a sustainable state level funding program for providing compensation to classroom teachers for supervising teacher interns. Teachers who supervise and train teacher interns are pivotal in encouraging our best to continue and become teachers. Consequently, schools need to have their best teachers filling these rolls.

Estimated cost: $5.4 million for a $1,500 stipend.

Recommendation No. 5—Modify the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES) for fewer required classroom observations for effective teachers after a baseline of effectiveness is established.

Estimated cost: 0

State board rule would need to be amended.

Priority Level Three—Recommendation No. 1—Develop and implement a statewide media campaign to promote the positive aspects of teaching as a profession.

Rationale: The Professional Standards Commission reports that 44 percent of teachers leave the profession within the first five years and the current decline in numbers of enrollees in teacher programs in Georgia colleges both indicate a serious problem.

Estimated cost: first year $4-$5 million and an annual cost of $2.5 million

Recommendation No. 2—Require a study of the Teacher Retirement System to determine if small changes should be made for new educators, or if new alternatives should be implemented for new educators. No changes are recommended for existing teachers and the report notes that TRS is currently rated as one of the strongest educator retirement systems in the U.S.

Estimated cost: $12,110 for a five-day study committee.

Action required includes a joint House-Senate resolution and participation by the retirement committees of both bodies.

Note: I oppose this recommendation.

Recommendation No. 3—Investigate the benefit of re-instituting of service cancellable loan programs for Georgia’s colleges graduates of teacher education programs. The funding should support low income students and offer a clear pathway to becoming a teacher. Could be limited to graduates who teach in hard to staff schools and high-need schools. Teaching should be designated a High Demand Workforce Initiative in Georgia.

Estimated Cost: For a $1,500 per semester stipend for junior and senior college years, the cost for an estimated 9,239 students would cost $27.7 million per year.

Recommendation No. 4—Reimburse the costs of the required GACE certification exams and edTA which pre-service teachers incur while enrolled in teacher preparation programs in the University System. For reimbursement of these costs, students would have to graduate from a USG institution and sign a contract to teach in a Georgia school.

Estimated cost: Administrative costs: $72,900. Estimated $150-$300 for GACE exams and $300 for edTPA. Total costs would run about $2.2 million.

Recommendation No. 5—Study replacing a single semester of student teaching with a full year of clinical practice for teacher candidates and the change absorbed into the present curriculum without additional time required for graduation and rename program for example teacher intern program or teacher candidate Program.

Estimated cost: N/A

Next: Other subcommittee recommendations

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