This metro school district is willing to pay new teachers $52K to start because of shortage

ATLANTA — Since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, local school districts have been desperate to hire teachers.

Channel 2 Action News has learned that Fulton County Schools is offering $52,000 starting pay for teachers fresh out of college.

Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston found out that many college students just aren’t going into education. The “Great Resignation” — the droves of people who left the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic — has contributed to a serious crisis.

But Verdaillia Turner, the president of the Georgia Federation of Teachers, said there’s another reason for the teacher shortage.

“Every time we do a survey, discipline is the No. 1 problem that we have, the elephant in the classroom that nobody wants to wrap their arms around,” Turner said. “We can discipline people in prisons, in the Army, everywhere, except those classrooms.”

She said this has created a critical teacher shortage.

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The HR director for Fulton County Schools, Ron Wade, told Huddleston that he is trying to hire 600 teachers.

He said many university students aren’t choosing education to make a career in.

“If they’re seeing decreases in students who are interested in education at the college level, than we’re going to feel that at the K-12 level,” Wade said.

Wade is holding a career fair at the end of the month to hire 1,300 employees.

The district will pay for your background check. If you’re a recent education graduate, he said Fulton County Schools will pay you more money than most school districts in metro Atlanta.

“We expect a new teacher from college to classroom will come into Fulton County making around $52,000 to start,” Wade said.

Wade said they will pay even more for special education teachers.

The career fair is on April 30 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

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