State of the States
Gov. Perdue Proposes Raise for Teachers
Saying he wants to thank Georgia’s teachers for their hard work, Gov. Sonny Perdue has proposed giving them a 2 percent raise as part of his fiscal 2006 budget.
“We know that our teachers work hard. If we all spent more time in the classroom with them I know that you, like me, would want to pay them all like Michael Vick,” the governor said during his Jan. 12 State of the State Address, referring to the talented quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons professional-football team.
The raise, which would cost roughly $149 million a year, would put an average of about $900 more in teachers’ pockets.
Overall, Gov. Perdue proposes raising K-12 school aid to $6.04 billion, an increase of 1.9 percent over the current year.
The governor, a Republican, said he also wants to do more to keep good teachers in the classroom. In his speech, he proposed creating a “master teacher” program designed to have top teachers serve as role models and academic coaches.
Mr. Perdue’s proposed education package includes funding to add 2,000 more children to the state’s lottery-financed prekindergarten program next fall and another 4,000 the following year.
In addition, the governor is proposing the creation of the Georgia Virtual High School, which would give students throughout the state access to more than 60 online courses, including Advanced Placement and SAT-preparation courses.
“In the 21st century, mere geography shouldn’t prevent our brightest students from doing their very best work,” he said in his speech.
The virtual-high-school initiative would expand a pilot project the state education department has been running since 2002.
Vol. 24, Issue 20, Page 24Published in Print: January 26, 2005, as Georgia