We’re happy to report the harmful and unnecessary cuts to Georgia’s nationally recognized Pre-K program were not included in the final FY2021 budget.
Thank you to the nearly 10,000—yes, 10,000—early education advocates who urged Georgia legislators to oppose Pre-K funding cuts. Your collective voice made all the difference.
We were also pleasantly surprised to see an increase in Pre-K teacher supplements and funding for behavioral and classroom support specialists as part of the final spending document.
The final budget also contained unexpected wins for child and maternal health in Georgia.
The budget included funding for an Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) coordinator position at the Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), a recommendation from the
Infant and Toddler Social and Emotional Health Study Committee
. This is particularly gratifying because as recently as last week, we did not anticipate the position would make it into the budget.
Funding for 6 months of Postpartum Medicaid was also included, which is a great first step toward our goal of improving maternal and infant health outcomes in Georgia. Earlier versions of the budget did not include the full 6 months of Postpartum Medicaid funding. This funding is accompanied by
, which will allow the state to seek a waiver from the federal government to provide Medicaid to this population.
Content taken from GEEARS.org newsletter