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Kemp signs education-boosting budget
Money for teacher, staff raises and school safety among expenditures
Gov. Brian Kemp
Gov. Brian Kemp

CAMILLA — Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday signed a record budget for fiscal year 2020 with a focus on increased education spending.

Teachers and other certified public school employees will each see a $3,000 raise under the $27.5 billion state spending proposal signed in Camilla, in southwestern Georgia.

Beginning July 1, the 2020 general budget adds $611 million in state spending over last year’s budget. Nearly 90 percent of that will go to teacher pay raises.

Kemp has said it’s a down payment on his campaign promise to raise teacher salaries by $5,000. Other state employees will receive a 2 percent wage increase.

The Hall County Schools Board of Education won’t approve a budget for the 2020 fiscal year until the end of June, and negotiations, funding estimates and other factors are in the preliminary stages, but revenues and expenditures are both surging, Superintendent Will Schofield has said.

Hall County Schools is currently operating on an approximately $259 million general fund budget.

Earlier this week, Gainesville Superintendent Jeremy Williams said he plans to present a proposed budget at the next board meeting on May 20.

Gainesville City Schools is looking to continue its minority teacher recruitment plan and contribute to wage increases for its entire faculty as highlights of its 2020 fiscal year budget, which the board of education must approve by July 1.

The Georgia budget also includes funding for public schools to improve school safety and $150 million in bond funding, or borrowing, for the state-wide purchase of new touchscreen voting machines.

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