PAGE encourages its members to thank Gov. Brian Kemp and members of the General Assembly for the $3,000 pay raise they passed in the 2019 legislative session and request approval of the proposed $2,000 raise in the current legislative session.
The Professional Association of Georgia Educators thanks Gov. Brian Kemp and members of the General Assembly for providing certified educators across the state with a $3,000 pay raise and full funding of the Quality Basic Education formula in the fiscal year 2020 budget. We are also deeply appreciative of Gov. Kemp’s proposal to increase educator pay by an additional $2,000 in fiscal year 2021 as well as fully funding the QBE formula for the third consecutive year. If approved by House and Senate members, the proposed $2,000 pay raise fulfills Gov. Kemp’s campaign promise to increase teacher salaries by $5,000.
Raising educator salaries is a vital tool to attract and keep great educators in classrooms in every community across the state. Georgia faces a teacher shortage. School districts reported 7,184 teacher vacancies in the 2017-2018 school year but hired 4,635, leaving a shortfall of more than 2,500 positions. In the
PAGE 2019 Legislative Survey
, more than half of respondents reported that salary increases are the most important factor for recruiting and retaining Georgia teachers.
The pay raise for educators is also a strategic investment in developing the state’s future workforce and fostering Georgia’s continued and robust economic growth. During his budget briefing under the Gold Dome on Jan. 21, Dr. Jeffrey Dorfman, the state economist, told legislators, “Funding education is the smartest thing you can do to try and grow the capacity of the state by investing in our human capital and research shows it typically roughly pays for itself."
The governor’s proposed spending plan for FY 2021 now moves to the Georgia House of Representatives where lawmakers will review all components including the proposed educator pay raise. House members, along with their colleagues in the Senate, must approve the $2,000 proposed pay raise.
Legislators will also consider cutting the state income tax rate from 5.75 percent to 5.5 percent. This proposed cut follows a tax cut lawmakers passed in 2018, which reduced the income tax from 6.0 percent to its current level. The resulting decline in state revenue is a key factor in the budget cuts lawmakers are considering for the Georgia Department of Education and most state agencies. If the second tax cut is approved, state revenues will fall by $550 million. More information about lawmakers’ budget deliberations is available