Courtesy of: Adobe Stock via Robert Hainer


Georgia House Appropriations Higher Education subcommittee makes decisions that impact institutions and students.

The Georgia House Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee held a meeting late last week for the 2025 Budget Hearing. 

The Subcommittee made several agency adjustments to the budget, including health insurance, retirement systems, DLs, and insurance. The most notable change is a formula growth of $2.256 million in USG’s teaching program.

Georgia MATCH

Lynne Riley, President of the Georgia Student Finance Commission, gave a presentation about the Georgia Match Program and its endeavors. Over 132,000 letters went out in October to the Georgia Match high school seniors. They received a personalized letter in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Technical College System, the University System, and the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. 

As of February 2024, the HOPE scholarship program provided $14.6 billion in awards since its initiation in 1993. In the past four months, the Georgia Futures Website accumulated nearly 450 thousand visits. Once a student logs into their Georgia Futures account, they can access their personalized match dashboard. Each college listed on their GA match letter is available on their dashboard and provides information about the cost of attendance.

“We anticipate that we’ll continue to see applications being filed all the way right up until you know August in some cases, and our institutions are ready and prepared to accept these students and we’re excited about this opportunity,” said Riley. 

After Riley’s presentation, Chairman David Knight (HD-134) asked “If we’re sending out this information to students letting them know “Hey, you’re qualified for this.” How are we doing that?

“We’re putting every opportunity for the public post-secondary institutions in Georgia before them through the Georgia match program,” said Riley. “We want them to consider certificates, diplomas, associate’s degrees, and full four-year degrees. And all of the schools that are listed on any student’s individual letter are aware that they are academically eligible at the end of 11th grade to enroll.”

Technical College System of Georgia Budget

Greg Dozier, Commissioner at Technical College System of Georgia, followed with a presentation about the system. According to Dozier, there is a 3% growth in the budget and a 10% growth in the college over the fall. 

Items regarding the college in the budget include a $4.7 million add to Quickstart to meet the EDA requirements related to all the new jobs that have come into this state in the last three years, the 3% growth in system and credit hours, and a small point seven increase in square footage for the total amount of $9.4 million. Item is 46.5.7 on the budget is to increase salaries and benefits related to the startup relating to 23 police officers added to the campus police departments. 

Georgia Commission on the Holocaust

Sally Levine, the Executive Director of the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust, spoke about plans for an education center. The center plans for visitors to “learn about the stories of Georgia Holocaust survivors and liberators.” 

It plans to have an exhibit not only highlighting the life of Anne Frank and her family but also her childhood friend Mary Buss whose family escaped the Netherlands before it was occupied by the Nazis. Another exhibit will focus on Sergeant William Alexander Scott III, a Black liberator of Buchenwald who served in a segregated unit in the US military after former President Dwight D. Eisenhower visited his first concentration camp. 

Levine asked the subcommittee for an additional $3 million to help with the exhibitions, saying “I’d like to conclude by asking you all to partner with us in this very important project to bring these stories to our students and visitors and inspire them to help us all build stronger communities and a Georgia that will push back against hate. Now is the time to make the Education Center a reality.”

The subcommittee members were grateful for Levine’s presentation. ” I for one, am very excited about this,” said Knight. “And I appreciate it because it is educational. This is something that’s going back to allowing our educators in Georgia and our students in Georgia to go see a part of history and to actually experience it.”

Georgia Military College

General William Caldwell, President of Georgia Military College, delivered the final presentation about the Georgia Military College. According to Caldwell, about 99% of the students outside of the cadets are Georgia residents. The college is open admissions, meaning that anybody who desires to go just has to produce a GED. It also provides remedial classes.

Budget changes for the college include a $90,000 increase to support the junior college next year, a net increase of $400,000 for the preparatory program, (K-12), and $45,000 for increased security in the preparatory school. Representative Jodi Lott (HD-122) asked to learn more about the Georgia Military College scholarship.

“If a young man or woman in Georgia, Georgia resident is willing to serve at the Georgia National Guard, they’ll enlist and go into the Georgia Guard and then they have the option if recommended by a general assembly member,” said Caldwell. “to come to Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, become a member of our Corps of Cadets, live in the barracks, get up every morning at five o’clock go through the morning regimentation of physical training, everything else, classes all day long leadership training in the afternoon, military training the afternoon and then study hall every night.”

After Caldwell’s presentation ended, the meeting adjourned. To watch the virtually recorded meeting, click this link.

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