I moved from New York to Georiga 14 years ago. I teach high school in Northwest Georgia.
I understand your concern with fitting into the "southern" lifestyle of Georgia, given the recent actions of out General Assembly in passing anti-immigrant statutes. However, I think you would be quite comfortable in one of the metro counties (Cobb, Dekalb, Gwinnett, Paulding, Clayton, Cherokee, Henry) where people tend to me more cultured and open-minded. The Atlanta suburbs in these counties are quite nice with a lot of ammenities and cultural attractions. I would say Cobb County is considered the nicest county, with housing prices ranges from the affordable to the millions of dollars. While it has historically been known as a white/Republican/conservative county, the Hispanic population has increased dramatically over the past 10 years, thus changing the cultural climate.
Here is some general information about Georgia teacher salaries from edweek.org.
Salaries and Incentives
Average teacher salary (2004) $45,848.00
Average beginning teacher salary (2004) $35,116.00
State has a statewide teacher salary schedule (2005) Yes
State has its own pay-for-performance program that is based on teachers producing growth in student achievement (2006) No
State finances signing bonuses for new teachers (2003) No
State finances housing assistance for teachers (2003) No
State finances education assistance for teachers (2003) No
State finances recruitment or retention incentives for teachers in high-poverty or low-performing schools (2005) No
State finances recruitment or retention incentives for teachers of subject-area shortages (2005) Yes
For the full article, visit http://www2.edweek.org/agentk-12/states/ga.html#table_3.
If you want to know what teachers make in a specific school district or county, you would need to go to that district's website. Metro Atlanta teachers usually make more than teachers in other regions.
If you want to find a teaching job, the BEST website is www.teachgeorgia.org. This is the website that most school systems use to advertise teaching jobs.
Here is a cost of living calculator you can use to compare you current salary/cost of living to what they would be in Georgia:'
This website provides relocation advice, including school and demographic information:
If you want to research a specific school, you can use www.greatschools.net.
Let me know if I can help you anymore! I know how difficult it can be to move to a new place you know nothing about. I'd be glad to help.