GAE responds to Gov. Kemp’s State of the State

For Immediate Release
January 14, 2021

ATLANTA -- “We were not sure what Gov. Kemp would include for public education in his State of the State address this morning. Teachers and education support professionals (ESPs) have worked hard under circumstances and challenges presented by the COVID pandemic and continue to work under since last March,” said Lisa Morgan, president of the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE). "So, we are appreciative of the one-time, $1,000 bonus Kemp proposed to all public school classroom teachers and ESPs, more than 200,000 educators across the state. And while it can never truly reward them for going above and beyond, it will certainly help offset whatever hardships they and their families have had or continue to face.

Gov. Kemp’s proposed use of $647 million to restore past QBE (Quality Basic Education) of the $1 billion cuts to public education this fiscal year is equally appreciated, and we look forward to school districts using those funds to restore furlough days they may have executed and to bolster student resources where needed.

Families of special needs students will appreciate the assistance to help offset hardships they have endured during the pandemic, but we would be remiss if we didn’t highlight that many other families throughout the state in rural, suburban and urban areas have also experienced unexpected hardship.

Kemp's proposed $20 million in state grants to expand rural broadband access and $10 million-a-year thereafter will definitely help to address a need that has been strongly spotlighted due to the need for virtual learning brought about by the pandemic."