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GAE’S HIGHLIGHTS FROM GEORGIA’S LEGISLATIVE SESSION The 2016 Georgia Legislative Session was notable for the passage of several bills supporting public education. Often, advocates find themselves in the position of having to play defense at the Capitol, working hard to prevent legislation that would further undermine public education. This session was refreshing as GAE worked with legislators and other education advocates to advance the interests of students, teachers, education support professionals, and administrators. Below is a summary of the most important education pieces to pass the legislature this session. BUDGET AND PAY INCREASE Final legislative approval was giving to a $23.7 billion state budget. The highlight of the K-12 budget is $300 million allocated to eliminate teacher furloughs, increase instructional days, and increase teacher salaries – amounting to a 3% increase. Additional funding was added to cover bus drivers, lunchroom workers and school nurses. Increasing pay was a top 2016 legislative priority for GAE. The additional funding for salary increases is a big win for our members. Governor Deal and legislative leaders spoke frequently about the need to increase pay for educators because they heard the voices of our members loud and clear. We understand that many school districts have budget hurdles due to past austerity cuts but GAE advocated for our members to receive pay increases as intended by the Governor and General Assembly. Status: Signed by Governor May 2, 2016 WIN Acknowledgments: Dr. Sid Chapman, GAE President, Chris Baumann, Executive Director, Starla Tanner, Government Relations & Communications Director Barbara Kirby, Herby Agnew, Kevin Pearson, GAE UniServ Directors,Public Education Matters 16 | KNOW • Volume 14 Issue 2 LEGISLATIVE SESSION


KNOW_Summer_2016_Digital
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