Proposed state budget would mean more money for teachers and Troup County School System

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2022

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The Georgia General Assembly is currently working on the mid-year budget for the state of Georgia. It most recently passed the state house committee. Governor Brian Kemp took a moment during his trip to LaGrange on Friday to touch on the budget and what it could mean for Troup County.

Kemp said the budget will be especially notable for teachers and the education system.

“This is going to be one of the greatest budgets that teachers have ever seen in the history in the state of Georgia. We’re spending more per child in K through 12, than the state ever has before. I’m fulfilling the last installment of my $5,000 teacher pay raise,” Kemp said.

He also said it will help support educators who he said have worked hard during the pandemic.

“We’ve done [things] to support our educators and continue to make sure that teachers know that we appreciate them,” he said. “No one has worked harder during the pandemic, and there’s been a lot of people that have worked hard, our healthcare heroes [and] or first responders. Certainly, our teachers have been right there with them.”

Superintendent Brian Shumate said this funding will allow TCSS to continue to fund initiatives under their strategic plan.

“[It] allow us to continue to pursue our initiatives around building pathways like the Career Center, to continue to work on our curriculum alignment,  [and] all the things related to our strategic plan without having to make major cuts,” Shumate said.

Shumate said this new budget will mean there should not be any reductions like the ones from when he first started with TCSS.

“We should not have any [reductions] in the coming year, based on the current budget, which is very good news for us,” he said. “We want to continue down that road and all the things we’ve talked about as a result of our strategic plan. I think the current budget that is being proposed will allow us to do that.”

Cathy Hunt, legislative liaison for Troup County School System, said she is pleased to see the raises that Kemp pledged in 2019.

“I’m very pleased that the governor is budgeting for the additional $2,000 pay raises for teachers that will complete the $5,000 raise that he pledged in 2019,” Hunt said.

Hunt also highlighted the supplements for support staff. She said she is reassured seeing the return to pre- pandemic school funding.

“I understand the budget will include supplements for support staff, which is wonderful. It’s certainly reassuring to know that the state will return school funding to pre-pandemic levels because the federal CARES money that has been so helpful is not going to last forever,” Hunt said.