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Governor Brian Kemp opened the session with an overview of his first year in office, highlighting achievements like the $3,000 educator salary increase in the FY 2020 budget before pivoting to what appears to be his main focus for this session--strengthening anti-gang laws in the state.
Governor Kemp noted that Georgia is “under siege” of dangerous street gangs, and he is committed to curbing their
growth. At the same time, he reiterated his plan announced earlier in the week to focus on human trafficking, working with his GRACE Commission to introduce and pass legislation to help reduce trafficking in the state.
On the education front, Governor Kemp renewed his commitment to reduce high-stakes testing and eliminate common core from Georgia’s public school curriculum while continuing to invest in education. He also promoted the State’s Medicaid and Affordable Care Act waiver applications
while noting there remains “much work to be done” to improve healthcare in Georgia. Governor Kemp closed by sharing his intent to address foster care and adoptions through legislation this spring.
Gov. Kemp’s FY21 budget plan proposes a $2,000 pay raise for certified personnel, which fulfills his campaign promise of a $5,000 salary increase when added to the $3,000 adjustment in the current budget.
Additionally, the budget includes a $1,000 raise for non-certified staff in state-funded positions who earn less than $40,000. Bus drivers and school nutrition workers would also receive a pay boost. Certified pre-kindergarten teachers are also slated for a $2,000 pay raise and assistant teachers in the program would
receive a five percent increase.
The governor’s spending plan would provide full funding for the state’s
K-12 funding formula, the Quality Basic Education (QBE) program, but also incorporates cuts to the
Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and other state agencies. Proposed cuts include curriculum
development, equipment grants for Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE), and Regional
Education Service Agencies (RESAs).