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Georgia Department of Education

District Partner 2012-2014

ERS partnered with the Georgia Department of Education to map resource use and support new resource strategies in five districts, support teacher compensation reform, analyze state-level spending, and study the impact of federal and state education policies. This work was funded by Georgia’s Race to the Top grant.


“We know that the most critical aspect is having a highly effective teacher in a classroom, therefore getting back to the concept of finding a compensation structure that will reward, recognize, attract, retain, and leverage the talents of the best teachers that Marietta can provide for students is important."
-Emily Lembeck, Superintendent of Marietta City Schools

Work Focus


District Work

Resource Mapping in five school districts (Marietta City Schools, Fulton County Schools, Hall County Schools, Vidalia City Schools, Treutlen County Schools):

  • Financial Analysis: Improve district spending in terms of equity, efficiency, and efficacy through budget, weighted student need, and special populations analysis

  • School Design: Organize school resources (people, time, and money) to match student needs and school priorities

  • Teacher Compensation Reform: Analyze compensation systems and model teacher compensation reform options in Fulton and Marietta

  • Creation of a Resource Strategy: Help districts craft a resource strategy that reflects misalignments identified in resource mapping


State-level Work

  • LEA Spending Analysis: Assess spending in Georgia’s 180+ school districts

  • SEA Spending Analysis: Assess state-level spending in the DOE

  • Georgia Policy and State Role: Review state education policies for alignment with academic priorities and craft framework for state role

  • Teacher Compensation Review: Analyze and propose changes to state teacher compensation system

Findings and Outcomes

  • District-level:
    • Increased length of school day and added remediation time in high-needs subjects (Treutlen, Vidalia)
    • Lengthened the school year for students and teachers (Hall)
    • Departmentalized in elementary grades to leverage teacher expertise and strengths (Treutlen)
    • Improved hiring practices to better identify top talent (Marietta)
    • Reallocated resources to ensure more expert support in schools (Marietta)
    • Added professional development opportunities for teachers tailored to their needs (All districts)
    • Increased school-level flexibility and support for principals (Fulton)
    • Proposed a framework for a redesigned teacher compensation system (Fulton)
    • Revised the compensation system, replacing traditional education pay with tuition reimbursement as well as additional pay for enhanced teacher roles (Marietta)

  • State-level:
    • Granted waivers to high-need districts based on our finding that certain policies place excessive restrictions on sparse and rural district
    • Successfully used state-collected data to calculate resource metrics across Georgia

Next Steps

  • Build off our existing work to create targeted recommendatinos for Georgia's state funding formula
  • Continue to help the Georgia DOE think through how they can use their state-collected data to inform better decisions at the local level

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