Educators cautiously optimistic over $314 million increase - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Educators cautiously optimistic over $314 million increase

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

More money will be flowing from the state into classrooms throughout Georgia. It's $314 million to be exact. Many South Georgia educators remain cautiously optimistic after state lawmakers approved the increase in education spending.

The budget, approved by the state House and Senate on Tuesday, is a huge relief for teachers after years of major cuts. Now school officials are looking for effective ways to use the extra money.

Dougherty County school officials are expecting to get a boost of a little more than $3 million.

School officials are hoping the extra money will help them reduce furlough days, and improve technology among other needs.

"I would very much like to lower the pupil to teacher ratio in Pre-k through grades 3 in order to provide our staff a little more opportunity for teaching instead of some babysitting that they're having to do," said Dougherty County Interim Superintendent David Mosely.

But Director of Finance for the school system Ken Dyer isn't getting too excited, saying there are other aspects to their overall budget that must be factored in.

"It's a formula generated amount, and so we may end up gaining or losing money and until we get that final number," said Dyer. "I'm cautiously optimistic regarding our overall budget."

Until officials get the final numbers they're developing a plan that will most effectively use the funds to improve education in Dougherty County.

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