Highlights of the 2018 Legislative Session
Below is a summary of Georgia’s 2018 Legislative Session highlighting the most important outcomes for public education. Governor
Deal has until May 8, 2018, to sign or veto the bills that passed; after May 8 any passed bills that have not been either signed or
vetoed automatically become law. The effective date for all new legislation is July 1, 2018 (unless a different date is specified in the
Perhaps the most significant legislation this Session involves the FY 2019 budget. During the last week of the Session Governor Deal made an incredibly
welcomed announcement – $167 million would be added to the 2019 budget in order to fully fund the QBE (Quality Basic Education) funding formula. This
addition to next year’s budget eliminates the austerity cuts that have plagued public education for 16 years. The cumulative austerity cut since 2003 is
$9.2 billion. These cuts have required districts to shorten school calendars, increase class sizes, cut programs, and furlough staff. Although the 33-year-old
QBE funding formula is outdated and needs reworking in order to adequately meet current fiscal needs, fully funding the existing formula for 2019 is an
important step forward in providing school districts with the resources necessary to make sure Georgia’s students can thrive. Unfortunately, the FY 2019
budget did not include a statewide pay increase for Georgia educators. It did, however, include $351 million for Georgia’s Teachers Retirement System.
Other notable budget highlights:
• $2.2 million to fund the work of the Chief Turnaround Officer (the position created by last year’s First Priority Act, HB 338).
• Additional monies for transportation and $15 million in bond funds for new school buses.
• $16 million in bond funds for school facility safety grants.
• $175,000 for the innovative assessment pilot created by SB 362 (legislation discussed below).
• $26.7 million in additional dual enrollment funding.
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