June 23, 2020
Contact Your House & Senate Member Today to Discourage Cuts to K-12 Education:
Difficult Budget Decisions in Difficult Times
The 2020 General Assembly is expected to adjourn this Friday, June 26. Now is the time to make your voice heard at the Capitol. In concert with PAGE advocacy under the Gold Dome, PAGE urges educators to contact their House and Senate members today and ask lawmakers to consider revenue solutions which soften harmful cuts to K-12 education.

State lawmakers must make difficult decisions regarding the Fiscal Year 2021 budget before the General Assembly adjourns. They are finalizing the FY21 budget, including a proposed cut of about $992 million to the state’s K-12 funding formula. All state agencies are slated for 10 percent cuts, due in large part to declining state revenues caused by the COVID-19-related recession. On June 22, Gov. Brian Kemp increased the state revenue estimate and redirected $250 million from state reserves. This welcome move reduced earlier proposed cuts to Georgia’s school funding formula by $53 million.
After the FY21 budget becomes effective on July 1, local district leaders will wrestle with implementing cuts to student programs and personnel. These leaders will be hard pressed to fund additional pandemic-related costs such as critical student remediation, remote learning, and virus-prevention measures. Many districts will be forced to furlough staff, increase class sizes, and end important student programs.

A recent PAGE survey indicated that a large majority of Georgia educators support state revenue enhancements intended to partially mitigate cuts to schools. These solutions include raising Georgia’s cigarette tax to a level comparable to neighboring states as outlined in HB 882 , estimated to generate about $450 million in new revenue, and HB 1035 , which seeks to eliminate or reduce tax credits, deductions, rebates or other tax expenditures and would generate about $227 million.

PAGE encourages educators to contact their legislators. The most effective educator advocacy highlights student impact and demonstrates awareness of the tough choices policymakers are considering. When contacting elected officials, please use personal (not school) email and electronic devices. Use your home address to access your state House and Senate members HERE .