Su­per­in­ten­dent hope­ful af­ter Deal’s State of the State ad­dress

The Covington News - - Local - By Am­ber Pittman apittman@cov­

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.

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