Handouts for the Hand that Feeds

January 08, 2009 1 min read

One cash-strapped school district in Georgia is considering an unorthodox way to avoid budget cuts—asking teachers to donate their raises.

Officials in Fayette County, Ga., might ask teachers to voluntarily donate a pay raise to aid their cash-strapped district, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The local school board decided they had nothing to lose when writing the letter asking for the donation this week.

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” board member Dr. Bob Todd told the newspaper. Board Member Janet Smola added, “I think it’d be silly if we didn’t ask the question.”

The proposal asks teachers to donate the future earnings of a 2.5 percent pay raise given last spring. If accepted by all county employees, the district could find an extra $4 million in their budget. With diminished property tax revenues and a slashed state education budget, the bonus would be a big help.

“We feel like we owe it to our employees to let them tell us,” said school spokeswoman Melinda Berry-Dreisbach in a follow-up report. “If we don’t get 100 percent, it wouldn’t be fair to look at it.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.