On January 6, Fund Georgia’s Future kicked off a statewide effort to adequately fund Georgia’s Quality Basic Education (QBE) formula and make sure funding for schools meets the needs of each student to be successful.
“Fiscal Year 2022 will represent the 18th year out of the last 20 that Georgia has failed to meet the minimum threshold for public school funding outlined in the QBE formula,” said Stephen Owens, Senior K-12 Policy Analyst at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. “Fund Georgia’s Future has come together to demand full and fair funding for our schools and to lift up and center the voices of those most impacted, including people of color and communities outside metro Atlanta, who have traditionally been kept out of education decisions in the past.”
Fund Georgia’s Future is led by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, Deep Center, Southern Education Foundation, Georgia Appleseed Center for Law & Justice, Southern Poverty Law Center, the Intercultural Development Research Association and the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda.
The Coalition came together to address the significant and ongoing underfunding of Georgia schools and to fight for education justice, recognizing that marginalized communities are disproportionally impacted by disinvestment in public schools leaving students of color, students with disabilities, English learners and children in poverty without adequate opportunities.
Research by Education Law Center shows Georgia is one of only eight states that does not provide additional funding to students in poverty through the state’s school funding formula. ELC’s report notes that, “Despite the clear relationship between poverty and student outcomes, and the growing body of research linking adequate funding with improved outcomes, Georgia’s Quality Basic Education formula provides no additional resources for high poverty school districts. Adding an opportunity weight will more effectively deliver additional resources to low-income students. It would also give districts the flexibility to design academic and social interventions that address students’ unique needs.”
Fund Georgia’s Future is focused on expanding membership and engaging organizations and individuals in legislative advocacy, both to fight against the use of public funds for private education and to ensure additional funding is directed to educating students from low wealth communities.
The coalition is guided by four core commitments:
- Inclusivity and meaningful engagement of families and students in decision-making about how public funds should be spent to best address community needs;
- Acknowledging and dismantling of historical systems of marginalization in education;
- Ending persistent budget cuts to public schools and the use of public funds for private education;
- Finding new methods of raising revenue to make sure that the state’s funding commitment is based on what students need, not on current revenue.
“We know which individuals and communities the state values by where they put resources,” said Coco Papy, Director of Public Policy and Communications at Deep Center in Savannah. “It’s time to hold the state accountable for using the budget to neglect students and schools.”
Georgia Budget and Policy Institute is a leader of the Partnership for Equity and Education Rights (PEER), a state-driven network fighting for education equity, an end to ongoing divestment in public education, and racially-just public schools. PEER believes strong public schools are essential to strong communities: our schools belong to the parents who support them, the educators and staff who work in them, the students who learn in them, and the communities they anchor. PEER is convened by Education Law Center.
Policy and Outreach Director
973-624-1815, x 24
Director of Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Communications