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Here’s a quick 🧵on the version of the budget that just passed out of Senate Approps #GaPol 1/8

-$1.05 billion cut from public school formula
-$25m taken out to pay for more school counselors
-$15m cut from pupil transportation
-$10.6m transferred from GOSA to GaDOE
First, this budget would put us back into the worst years of austerity. 80-90% of school budgets are for salary/benefits so budget cuts are often furloughs and/or firings. $1 billion will go a long way in some districts in wiping out that teacher pay raise from last year. 2/8
Some of that $1 billion cut will be offset by federal CARES dollars. Districts have been granted $411 million to deal with costs associated with COVID-19. Problem is, a lot of those costs are still on the horizon. 3/8
To wit: the Senate Approps budget removed $25m that the House put in pre-COVID to fully fund the state’s counselor to student ratio. This money would have been helpful to support students harmed (emotionally or physically) in the time away from school. 4/8…
Further, pupil transportation (think school buses) was cut $15 million. Pretty wild considering this would mean pupil transportation in 2021 will be $56 million LESS than it was in 2002, when Georgia had 300,000 fewer students. 5/8
Next, it looks like there is a big shift in funding from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement to the Department of Education to the tune of $10.6 million. If approved, GOSA’s budget would be $2 million (chart below is from last year). 6/8
Grants to low-wealth districts (equalization) and smaller schools (sparsity) look to stay intact, although sparsity is currently funded at 27% of the formula earnings. Good news regardless. Also no cuts have been recommended for pre-K. 7/8
Finally, if you’re thinking “whoa, tough cuts for everyone” then I would like to mention that unless legislators do something soon, the state will continue to send $100 million to private schools through a tax-credit voucher that will see no “budget cut” this year. 8/END
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