Governor Nathan Deal signed the Fiscal Year 2015 state budget today at a ceremony at the Gwinnett County Schools Instructional Support Center in Suwanee, no doubt to highlight the additional money provided for education in the budget, much of it which will go to teacher raises, at least in Gwinnett and Cobb Counties, and likely in others. The Gwinnett Daily Post has the story:
“I think all of us know we’ve had some tough times the past several years,” [Gwinnett Superintendent Alvin] Wilbanks said. “Things are looking better, I wouldn’t say anybody’s said we’re out of the woods, but this is certainly the best budget we’ve seen in a number of years.”
The ceremony began a statewide tour on Monday for Deal to sign other legislation in Jekyll Island, Pooler, Tybee Island and Statesboro.
The bill Deal signed included the largest single increase of kindergarten through high school funding in seven years. The formula that determines that, called the Quality Basic Education formula, will be funded at $514.3 million in fiscal year 2015.
Of course, Deal’s likely Democratic opponent in November didn’t see it that way, issuing this statement after the bill was signed into law:
“Budgets reflect values, and this budget shows that Gov. Deal does not value our students, teachers and classrooms. The governor’s budget continues the shell game of education funding in our state, adding to years of grossly inadequate budgets for our schools.
“Students and teachers deserve leaders who will make education the top priority every year. That’s why I have proposed writing a separate education budget that will protect schools from politicians who try to raid their budgets to pay for other things.
“The dismantling of our education system remains the single biggest failure of Georgia’s current leadership, and is the biggest drain on our state’s economy. The consequences are real. A new report shows that Georgia has one of the worst high school graduation rates in the country. Georgia needs leaders with vision for a brighter future.”
We guess that’s the reason that as Senator, Carter voted against the 2015 budget, despite the restoration of over half a billion dollars to fund the state’s QBE formula. If that news is so bad, why did the Senator vote yes on the budgets for 2012, 2013, and 2014? Those were the years when funding was cut from education.