In a unanimous vote at Thurday’s regularly scheduled board meeting, Cobb County School Superintendent Chris Ragsdale announced a partnership with the University West Georgia that would allow Cobb County teachers to apply for the opportunity to pursue a master’s through a doctorate in education at no cost.
“We have worked hard to recruit the very best educators in Georgia, and we need to retain that workforce. Our new Georgia’s Best program is the most significant commitment that a school district has made to support educators and ultimately benefit students. I am thankful to the Board for unanimously approving the costs associated with investing in our educators because in order to focus on student success, we must prioritize our team,” said Superintendent Ragsdale.
The program, Georgia BEST, is an acronym for Building Educator Success Together, will be limited to a cap of 500 educators a year and is made possible through a financial commitment of the University of West Georgia College of Education and the Cobb County School Board. Accepted educators will start online classes as early as June 2023, with them engaging in five semesters of learning.
This program is the first of its kind in Georgia for a school district the size of Cobb County Schools that allows educators to pursue advanced degrees at no cost to them. This would mean that a teacher in Cobb with five years of experience would earn upwards of $62,316 compared to a teacher with just a Bachelor’s Degree who would earn $55,442.
“The University of West Georgia is excited to partner with Cobb Schools to help educators increase their earning potential and – more importantly – be better prepared to teach Cobb students. We are confident UWG’s advanced degree programs will help recruit and retain Cobb educators while building on the district’s foundation of academic excellence,” said Dr. Mike Dishman, UWG Dean of the College of Education.