This morning, Gov. Brian Kemp announced the details of his proposed changes to the current 2022-2023 state budget and next year's 2023-2024 budget.
Among the highlights in his 2023-2024 budget is a proposed appropriation of $567 million to provide a $2,000 "cost-of-living adjustment" for state and Board of Regents employees, pre-k teachers and assistant teachers, and certified K-12 personnel" and $303 million for the Department of Education to adjust the state base salary schedule to increase salaries for certified, but not classified, personnel by $2,000. At this time, GAE is seeking additional clarity on these proposals.
Also for the next fiscal/school year, Kemp is recommending $27 million to fully fund school counselor ratios for all categories of students, $227 million in bonds for construction and renovation projects for local school systems, and about $23 million to replace 259 school buses.
For the current fiscal/school year, the governor's budget includes $116 million to fund school security grants in the amount of $50,000 per school, $25 million to support "learning loss" grants, $15 million to support para-professionals with bachelor’s degrees seeking teaching certificates, and an increase in QBE funding of $128 million.
One of the biggest expenditures in the governor's budgets is $846 million to account for the increase in the employer share of health benefits for educators and state employees.
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees will meet beginning Tuesday, January 17 for three days to review the details of Kemp's budgets and make changes that they feel are necessary.