As described in Gov. Brian Kemp's inaugural address, he proposes a $2,000 pay raise for teachers and other certified staff in his Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 budget plan.
The plan was released Friday, Jan. 13. The proposed raise follows a $3,000 pay raise approved by the General Assembly in 2019, and a $2,000 raise passed in 2022. Kemp also aims to add $27 million for school counselors to support special education and gifted students in the FY 2024 budget. PAGE has promoted this increase for several years based on member-driven legislative priorities. The governor also wants to boost education funding in the current school year, which is outlined in his proposed Amended Fiscal Year (AFY) 2023 budget. In addition to the routine adjustment to the Quality Basic Education (QBE) formula based on updated student enrollment data, he proposes $50,000 school safety grants for every public school, $15 million to help paraprofessionals with four year degrees obtain teaching certificates, and $25 million in grants for school districts to helping recover learning loss.
If the pay raise is approved by the General Assembly, the state would provide funds for certified teachers and other certified staff members who are funded under the QBE formula or other state programs such as agricultural education. The state would not provide funds for a pay raise for certified teachers and staff members whose salaries are covered with local or federal dollars. Based on their particular financial circumstances, school districts would determine how to cover raises for non-state funded certified staff as well as classified staff from other funding sources.
Kemp’s proposed budgets also add $1 billion to cover a $635 increase in the employer share of the per member per month cost of the State Health Benefit Plan. This proposed increase would bring the monthly cost of health insurance under the SHBP per eligible employee to $1,580. This increase would cover rising health care costs.
Highlights from the proposed budgets include:
$115.7 million for security grants of $50,000 per school
$15 million for grants of $3,000 to reimburse paraprofessionals who earn certificates through the GaTAPP program
$25 million for learning loss grants to school districts based on the percentage of students performing below grade level on academic year 2022 standardized tests
$128.2 million to the QBE formula to cover enrollment growth
$28 million increase to the State Commission Charter School Supplement
$6.4 million increase to the Special Needs Scholarship program to cover program growth
$846 million to increase employer contribution per-member per-month rate to $1,580 for certified school employees
$20.6 million increase for $2,000 pay raise for Pre-K lead and assistant teachers
$303.2 million increase for $2,000 pay raise for certified personnel
$26.9 million increase to the QBE formula to fully fund the school counselor ratio for special education and gifted students
($4.7 million) decrease for the GNETS program for enrollment and training and experience decline
$211,250 increase to the Sparsity Grant program
($406,177) decrease for Residential Treatment Facilities based on attendance
$1.6 million increase for school nutrition
$1.6 million increase for a 5.1 percent salary increase for school nutrition staff
$4.5 million increase for pre-school disabilities services
$1.6 million increase for student transportation based on formula growth
$4.3 million increase for student transportation for 5.1 percent salary increase
$122.3 million increase for equalization grants
($257 million) decrease in local five mill share
$155 million increase to QBE formula for enrollment growth and training and experience
$20.7 million increase for State Commission Charter School supplement for formula increase
$481,282 increase for Regional Education Service Agencies for 5.1 percent salary increase for certified staff
$1.8 million increase for school nurses for 5.1 percent salary increase
The governor’s FY 2024 budget proposal also includes bond funding of $22.8 million for new school buses and $7 million for CTAE equipment. In addition, Kemp proposes boosting the HOPE scholarship for public institutions and HOPE grants to cover 100 percent of tuition.
House and Senate appropriations committees will hold joint sessions Jan. 17-19 to hear details on the budget proposals from state agency heads. State Superintendent Richard Woods will present the budget for the Georgia Department of Education on Wednesday, Jan. 18. As lawmakers gather more information about the proposed budgets, they will likely revise the governor’s proposals. The PAGE legislative team will monitor the budget process and continue advocating for the pay raise and other funding to support students and educators.
Quick Day 4 -- Senate Committee Membership Announced
After a whirlwind of inaugural events, the House and Senate opened and adjourned quickly Friday. Both chambers will be in recess next week while joint appropriations meetings occur to review the governor’s proposed budgets.
The Senate has named committees for the 2023 session.
Clint Dixon (R-Buford), Chairman
Chuck Payne (R-Dalton), Vice Chairman
Freddie Powell Sims (D-Dawson), Secretary
Matt Brass (R-Newnan)
Greg Dolezal (R-Alpharetta)
Shelly Echols (R-Alto)
Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega)
Sonya Halpern (D-Atlanta)
Donzella James (D-Atlanta)
Elena Parent (D-Atlanta)
Ed Setzler (R-Acworth)
Shawn Still (R-Norcross)
Horacena Tate (D-Atlanta)
Rick Williams (R-Milledgeville), Chairman
Marty Harbin (R-Tyrone), Vice Chairman
Blake Tillery (R-Vidalia), Secretary
Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro)
Russ Goodman (R-Homerville)
Sally Harrell (D-Atlanta)
Josh McLaurin (D-Sandy Springs)
Larry Walker, III (R-Perry)