Since 2002 public education in Georgia has faced drastic austerity cuts to the tune of $8.5 billion.
The Education Reform commission appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal is trying to come up with a new funding formula for public education.
The problem is that the funding amount they are working on includes $499 million less than what the current formula requires, which means that the austerity cuts we have suffered over these past 13 years will be built in to the new funding formula.
What does that mean for public education?
On the K-12 side we will probably see larger class sizes and less teacher pay and benefits.
Go to https://gov.georgia.gov/education-reform-commission for more information on this.
I will write about this part of the issue again soon.
On the technical college and university level we have seen tuition skyrocket.
Why? Because these schools are part of the austerity cuts we have been dealing with since 2002.
State leaders have slashed their per-pupil support for higher education by more than half.
As a result tuition and fees for attending Georgia public universities has soared. Since 2001, the cost of attending UGA has jumped by 260 percent, adjusted for inflation. That's roughly $7,000.
Who is at fault? Our two Republican Governors and the Republican State Legislature.
They are the designers of the austerity cuts to public education. This is why the lottery can no longer support the Hope Scholarship.
Lottery funds have grown but can't keep up with the increases in tuition caused by these austerity cuts. So at a time when we say we need a better prepared workforce we are permanently slashing funds for K-12 and making post-secondary education out of reach for many!
And the Governor says he is pro public education?
Bette Holland, Dawsonville