Kemp announces teacher pay increase in inauguration speech

Governor Brian Kemp announced raises for teachers and other government employees during his second-term inauguration speech on Jan. 12, 2022. 

The governor’s 2023 budget proposes $2,000 pay raises for all state employees including state law enforcement, pre-kindergarten teachers, and kindergarten through 12th-grade personnel. Before the announcement, the average entry-level salary for a K-12 teacher in Fulton County was $52,316.

The governor’s budget will also include over $150 million in one-time grant opportunities for local school districts to address school security and learning loss, as well as resources for paraprofessionals to become fully certified teachers

“I’m so proud of everything that public servants throughout our state have done and accomplished over the last few years,” Kemp said. “But the truth is high pandemic burnout has made tough jobs even harder, from the classroom to the state patrol. If you want to keep good people in jobs critical to the safety and well-being of [our communities] we must be willing to be competitive with state salaries.”

In addition to increasing school funding, Kemp noted inflation as another barrier to education. “Countless moms and dads [are] still struggling to make ends meet and buy clothes for the next semester of school,” Kemp said. To this end, the governor’s budget proposed $1 billion in income tax returns and $1.1 billion in one-time homeowner property tax relief grants.

Each January, the governor recommends the Governor’s Budget Report, a document of the governor’s spending recommendations, to the Georgia General Assembly. After it’s introduced to the legislature, it becomes a bill and is negotiated in both chambers of the Georgia state legislature. Once both chambers approve the budget, it is sent to the governor, who can either sign the entire budget into law or veto specific line items. When the budget is approved, it goes into effect at the start of the next fiscal year, which will be July 2023.

About Writer

Alex Anteau

Alex is a recent graduate of the University of Georgia's Health and Medical Journalism master's program. He's previously written for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Athens Banner-Herald, and the Chicago Reader. There, his stories covered health, culture, equity, and public policy. When he isn't out reporting, he enjoys reading, writing fiction, and spending time with his cats. Alex is excited to be part of the Education in Atlanta team and to provide readers around Atlanta with the education news they need.

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