PAGE Issue Brief Underscores Importance of Addressing Challenges in Georgia’s Paraprofessional Workforce
State leaders have recently expressed interest in education policy solutions regarding paraprofessionals. In his State of the State address, Gov. Brian Kemp outlined a grant program intended to help paraprofessionals achieve teacher certification. In its 2023 legislative priorities, the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) outlines the importance of providing state funding for paraprofessionals in first- and second-grade classrooms and establishing a study committee on the compensation of education support professionals, including paraprofessionals.
PAGE members have expressed growing concern about challenges facing the paraprofessional workforce. Guided by data obtained in our 2022 member survey, PAGE created an issue brief about the importance of paraprofessionals and recommends increasing paraprofessional salary in the Quality Basic Education (QBE) formula and supporting paraprofessionals to become certified teachers.
While under the Gold Dome, PAGE will use the paraprofessional issue brief to guide advocacy in support of these critical members of the education team.
House Education Committee Inaugural Meeting
The 2023 House Education Committee met for the first time. The committee is led by a new chairman, Rep. Chris Erwin (R-Homer), who retired with more than 30 years of experience as a teacher, school leader, and superintendent. Erwin opened the meeting by urging committee members to focus on policies that benefit students. Erwin also shared that his policy priorities for the committee are student safety and literacy.
Each member introduced themselves and described why being a part of the Education Committee is important to them. CLICK HERE for archival footage of the meeting and to hear each committee members’ introductions.
The committee approved its rules, and Erwin assigned each member to one of two subcommittees – the Policy Subcommittee and the Curriculum Subcommittee. As is tradition in the House Education Committee, all public testimony and much of the debate on bills occurs in subcommittee. Public testimony will not be allowed in full committee meetings.
Subcommittee assignments are listed below:
Rep. Bethany Ballard (R-Warner Robins) – Chair
Rep. Mike Cheokas (R-Americus) – Vice Chair
Rep. Segun Adeyina (D-Grayson)
Rep. Doreen Carter (D-Lithonia)
Rep. David Clark (R-Buford)
Rep. Matt Dubnik (R-Gainesville)
Rep. Karlton Howard (D-Augusta)
Rep. Meisha Mainor (D-Atlanta)
Rep. Jan Jones (R-Milton)
Rep. Erwin - Ex-Officio
Rep. Scott Hilton (R-Peachtree Corners) – Ex Officio
Rep. Lauren Daniel (R-Henry County) - Ex Officio
Rep. Scott Hilton – Chair
Rep. Brent Cox (R-Dawsonville) – Vice Chair
Rep. Becky Evans (D-Atlanta)
Rep. Lydia Glaize (D-Fairburn)
Rep. Rick Townsend (R-St. Simons)
Rep. Will Wade (R-Dawsonville)
Rep. Miriam Paris (D-Macon)
Rep. David Wilkerson (D-Powder Springs)
Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper)
Rep. Todd Jones (R-South Forsyth)
Rep. Erwin – Ex Officio
Rep. Daniel – Ex Officio
Rep. Ballard – Ex Officio
Monday, Jan. 30 – Legislative Day 9
Tuesday, Jan. 31 – Legislative Day 10
· Joint Retirement Committee Meeting – 2 p.m. – 606 CLOB
Wednesday, Feb. 1 – Legislative Day 11
Thursday, Feb. 2 – Legislative Day 12