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May 3, 2016

2017 budget: pay raises for teachers, IT and dual enrollment funding


Two major pieces of legislation impacting the state's education and workforce pipeline were addressed this week. On Monday May 2, Governor Nathan Deal signed a record $23.7 billion budget into law which includes more than $8.9 billion for the Department of Education. Among the largest line items in the funding package is a $300 million commitment to reverse teacher pay cuts and provide a 3% raise. The budget also includes funding for new education priorities such as the "Move on When Ready" program that allows high school students to be dual enrolled in colleges and universities earning credit while still competing the high school graduation requirements.   A list of important line items can be found below:

  • $300 million to reduce the recession cuts including a 3% teacher pay raise
  • $4.1 million for 3% raises in school nutrition employees, school bus drivers, and school nurses
  • $124 million for school enrollment increases and increases in teacher pay scales
  • $2.5 million for audio-visual technology and film grants to middle and high schools
  • $2.8 million to school IT systems
  • $300,000 to expand Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports (PBIS) trainers which will help improve school discipline
  • $600,000 for grants to rural school districts to increase student participation in Advanced Placement (AP) STEM courses
  • $29.4 million for Move On When Ready, a dual enrollment program that lets students earn college credit while still attending high school

In addition to the 2017 Budget above, the Governor also signed a piece of major work-based legislation, House Bill 402, allowing businesses that participate in work-based learning partnerships to receive a 5 percent discount on worker compensation premiums. These partnership programs allow high school students to receive academic credit for participating in a structured program at a participating employer during part of their regular school day.


The Metro Atlanta Chamber has been focused on several education and workforce initiatives that integrate necessary job skills with traditional education requirements to ensure students'  talents meet employers' needs when they graduate.

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