House Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2024 Budget Proposal
House budget writers gave a “do-pass” to its version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 budget, which includes the $2,000 pay raise for Pre-K and K-12 teachers, other certified staff, and state employees as proposed by Gov. Brian Kemp. While maintaining most of the governor's proposed FY 2024 budget, House Appropriations members voted to adjust education spending in several areas, including increases of:
$171,000 for 18 new extended day/year positions in Agricultural Education
$288,000 for three young farmer positions in Barrow, Lowndes, and Hall Counties
$60,000 for a state special school program coordinator position
$3 million to a statewide rollout of Plasma Games, which is to be evaluated after one year
$1.7 million for charter facility grants
$262,000 for Communities in Schools for additional affiliates
$200,000 to increase life science industry certification for rural school districts
$200,000 for feminine hygiene grants
*$4.7 million for the cost of breakfast and lunch for students on reduced pay
$49,493 for a military counselor for Chattahoochee County
*$8.7 million to provide a $1,000 salary supplement for custodians
$711,000 for construction industry certification
$1 million for a construction-ready pre-apprenticeship program
$119,600 to purchase equipment for construction industry certification programs in bonds
$264,316 to purchase agricultural education equipment in bonds
$208,000 to incentivize the purchase of alternative fuel buses in bonds
Committee members reduced funding for Mountain Education, Coastal Plains, and Foothills Charter High Schools by $43.9 million, pursuant to SB 153, passed during the 2021 session, which reflects a larger decrease than that proposed in the governor’s budget.
The committee added $11.9 million to cover the PMPM increase in the employer share of the SHBP plan for pre-kindergarten lead and assistant teachers. They added $1 million to the Governor's Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) for implementation of a digital learning-based Pre-K through Grade 5 program that teaches language and literacy curriculum.
The committee recommended changes to funding for programs operated by the Georgia Student Finance Commission. It reduced funding for dual enrollment by $6.6 million, based on projections. It also proposed setting the factor rate for the HOPE Scholarship and the HOPE Grant to 95 percent instead of 100 percent, as outlined in the governor’s budget. Funds saved through the lower factor rate would be used to cover the increase in the employer share of the SHBP for pre-kindergarten teachers in school districts as well as increasing the HOPE Scholarship award amount for private schools to $3,100. Committee members included $955,830 for a new aid program, the Inclusive Postsecondary Education Grant, for students with intellectual disabilities enrolled in programs in university or technical college systems.
The approved budget progressed to House Rules, which moved it forward for an expected House floor vote tomorrow, Thursday, March 9.
Thursday, March 9 – Legislative Day 31
Senate Education and Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, 7 a.m., 307 CLOB
House Education Curriculum Subcommittee, 10 a.m., 506 CLOB
House Education Policy Subcommittee, 11 a.m., 506 CLOB
Monday, March 13 - Legislative Day 32
*An earlier version of this report incorrectly stated that the increase of $8.7 million was to cover an increase in the employer contribution to the State Health Benefit Plan and that the increase to the school nutrition program was $1.7 million. The report was corrected on March 9, 2023.