How Gov. Kemp’s recent budget proposal will impact South Ga. educators

The proposal would offer a $2,000 salary increase for teachers, along with money for many other departments.
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 8:00 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Gov. Brian Kemp’s new budget proposal for this year and 2024 places education as one of its top priorities. Educators hope the money will help Georgia students to get back on track.

The proposal would offer a $2,000 salary increase for teachers along with money for many other departments.

Kenneth Dyer is the superintendent of the Dougherty County School System.
Kenneth Dyer is the superintendent of the Dougherty County School System. (WALB)

Dougherty County School Superintendent Kenneth Dyer said the budget plan touches on something close to his heart.

“It provides a $50,000 grant per school for school safety to be used as the school sees fit to enhance safety in the schools,” Dyer said. “For the Dougherty County School System, that’ll amount to about $1.1 million that we can invest in enhancing school safety. And if you heard me say anything, you heard me say that school safety is our money important priority.”

The budget also aims to provide $25 million for grants to help with learning loss over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many students still recovering from the effects of remote learning.

“Finally, it’s over $25 million, almost $27 million actually to increase the number of school counselors that are available,” Dyer said. “You’ve also heard about the social and emotional concerns. Mental health concerns that students have been experiencing, particularly since the pandemic.”

Chiquita Greene, left, Pamela Heard, right, are teachers at Westover High School.
Chiquita Greene, left, Pamela Heard, right, are teachers at Westover High School.(WALB)

Educators across the state, including staff at Westover High School, want action, not plans.

“We don’t know where our kids are going, so we want to make sure that we expose them, educate them and empower them in the most meaningful ways possible. And with funds, we can definitely do that,” Chiquita Greene, a teacher, said.

To see the full budget proposal, click here.