Superintendent hopeful after Deal’s State of the State address
As snow and ice blanketed Georgia, Nathan Deal was sworn in Monday as the state’s 82nd governor. And in his State of the State address Wednesday, he gave hope to the state’s beleaguered school systems, that cuts might not be as bad as originally expected.
In his speech, Deal said that his Fiscal Year 2012 budget would have a net increase of $30 million in K-12 formula funding.
“Both budgets (what’s left of the current FY11 and the coming FY12) make funding for K-12 education a top priority,” said Deal. “ Let me be clear: my budget will end teacher furloughs and keep students in school for a full school year. I view education as our number one economic development tool and there is no more forward-looking or strategic place to invest.”
Newton County School Superintendent Gary Mathews found encouragement in Deal’s speech.
“ I hope this is truly what the governor will propose in his budget for K-12 funding,” Mathews said in an e-mail. “Moreover, I certainly hope that Georgia legislators will be sympathetic to the governor’s priority related to K-12 education in our state. It certainly appears to be a most positive (and unexpected) development.”
Mathews said that school officials may decide to set a lower budget reduction target than the $ 9 million originally proposed.
“Whatever happens at the state level we do anticipate significantly less local and federal revenue,” said Mathews.