Print

Print


Fellow Agriculture Teachers,

I would like to take a moment and share the latest Ag-Ed budget information with you. Allocations for the 2012-2013 school year are near complete, and I feel it is important to keep you aware of the budget situation. Please take a moment and read the information in this e-mail. The Ag-Ed budget worksheets will be sent to your system CTAE administrator next week, so I wanted to give you some details before they go out.

As most of you know by now, the agricultural education program took another slight reduction in state funding for the coming year. Our budget has been reduced by another 1%. (this is in addition to the 2.5% most teachers took last year) In addition to this reduction of state funds, our collective success in meeting the Agricultural Education Teacher Standards has seen tremendous improvement over the past year. Also, we have several teachers that earned advanced degrees this year and more than 60% of all Ag-Ed teachers in Georgia have less than 12 year's experience (making most of us eligible for a step increase on the salary scale). Additionally, schools continue to add Ag. Teacher positions and new programs across the state. All of these factors combined with the reductions in state funding during the past several years -- continue to create a shortfall in our Ag-Ed budget. With very few exceptions, every agricultural education teacher in Georgia is meeting or exceeding the minimum standards. This is something in which we should all be proud. The difficulty is when our economy and state allocations do not keep up the same pace as agriculture teachers and the success of agricultural education in Georgia.

Many factors contribute to the Ag-Ed budget shortfall for the coming year. The combination of these circumstances will create a FY13 budget reduction (compared to FY12)  in Ag. Extended Day & Year of approximately 6.5%. In an effort to put this in perspective, I would like to breakdown several categories of years experience and teaching certificate levels so that you can get an idea of the impact. (please keep in mind these are approximate numbers calculated on teachers Extended Day along with 30 days of extended year)

These examples are for High School and Middle School Agriculture Teachers -- and is only on the Ag. Extended Day and Year amounts.

A beginning teacher (0 years experience & a T-4 certification) -- the reduction would equal $846 per year ($70.50 per month).
A T-4 certificate with 15 years experience -- the reduction would be approximately $1158 per year ($96.50 per month).
A T-4 certificate with 30 years experience -- the reduction would be approximately $1265 per year ($105.42 per month).

For those of you with a masters (T-5) degree, here is the impact:
with 0 years experience -- the reduction would be approximately $967 per year ($80.50 / month).
with 15 years experience -- the reduction would be approximately $1332 per year ($111 / month).
with 30 years experience -- the reduction would be approximately $1460 per year ($121.66 / month).

If you have a specialist degree (or T-6), this is the breakdown:
with 0 years experience -- the reduction would be approximately $1093 for the year ($91 / month).
with 15 years experience -- the reduction would be approximately $1504 on the year ($125.33 / month).
with 30 years experience -- the reduction would be approximately $1644 for the year ($137 / month).

And for those of you fortunate enough to have your Doctorate (T-7), it would look like this:
with 0 years experience -- the reduced amount would be approximately $1213 for the year ($101 / month).
with 15 years experience -- the reduced amount would be approximately $1672 for the year ($139.33 / month).
with 30 years experience -- the reduced amount would be approximately $1825 for the year ($152 / month).

In regard to the Young Farmer Agriculture Teachers budget -- the FY13 reduction is a line item and therefore will be a 1% reduction from last year (FY12).

Information regarding any budget reduction is not easy to share. I wanted you to know what to expect for the FY13 (July 2012 - June 2013) school year so that you can be prepared. Hopefully we have provided enough time for you in preparing for these reductions beginning in July.

I have been reminded several times lately that "things could be worse". I would ask that each of us continue to work diligently in providing the best possible agricultural education program. Our students deserve the very best. I am confident that if we continue to focus on the quality of this great program, things will get better. In addition, I assure you that we are doing everything possible to avoid additional cuts and to secure more allocations in the future.

As always, I am thankful for the positive difference that each of you are making in the lives of students.

John (Chip) Bridges
Program Manager, Agricultural Education
Georgia Department of Education
1752 Twin Towers East
Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: 404.657.8311
Fax: 770.344.4411
email: [log in to unmask]