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Atlanta education board approves APS budget for 2021-22, including nearly $24M in pay upgrades

A number of Atlanta Public Schools employees will see increased compensation under the budget.

ATLANTA — Atlanta Public Schools employees are due for nearly $24 million in pay increases under a $1.4 billion budget for the 2021-22 school year that was approved this week by the city's Board of Education.

In a release, APS said the budget would make provisions for pay-grade raises of 1-1.7% for all eligible employees and market-rate raises of 2-9% for teachers, depending on years of experience.

It also provides for an increase to a $15 minimum wage for hourly employees, day-rate increases for substitute teachers and more.

RELATED: School schedule for APS changes for 2021-2022

“We remain committed to putting our students and schools first and our FY2022 budget reflects that focus,” APS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring said in a statement. “An essential element of that philosophy is making sure we have highly qualified, dedicated professionals in our classrooms, schools, and administrative offices, who are passionate about our efforts to prepare all of our students for success."

The budget also provides for more than $30 million in academic recovery efforts. That includes more than $8 million to extend the elementary school day by 30 minutes, $7 million for the summer learning recovery academy currently underway, and $14 million in federal funding from the COVID-19 relief act to be distributed to individual schools.

Additionally, the budget includes about $9 million for physical and mental health and wellness - about a third of that for COVID-19 surveillance testing - and roughly $8 million for tech and operational upgrades.

Another $377,000 will be provided for equity initiatives, including the designation of "district equity champions" who will "lead professional learning related to equity," diversity management software for tracking and reporting diversity goals, and learning and outreach programs.

"We believe this budget is fair, balanced, and equitable and it will enable us to continue the work of ensuring every student graduates ready for college, career, and life," Dr. Herring said.