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Georgia

Invest in Georgia Teachers:

The Need to Attract and Retain A High-Quality Workforce

December 2019 

Teachers in Georgia’s public schools are unhappy about low pay and poor working conditions impacting their ability to provide a quality education to all students. A qualified teaching staff is an essential resource needed to give students a meaningful opportunity to succeed in school. Despite recent funding increases, Georgia districts are hiring new teachers without standard certification at higher rates, and more inexperienced teachers are in classrooms now than six years ago. Teachers are leaving the Georgia public schools altogether or switching to different districts in the state. Georgia’s majority Black and low-income school districts are struggling much more than other districts to hire and retain experienced teachers with standard certifications. Lawmakers must make a stable workforce of qualified teachers across the state a top priority on their public education legislative agenda. Increased funding can be targeted to teacher salaries and better benefits, teacher hiring and development, and improved school climate and school resource allocation to attract and retain quality teachers. 

Funding Opportunity: 

Replacing Georgia’s Early Intervention and Remedial Programs with Funding for Low-Income Students 

August 2019 

Georgia’s school funding formula currently provides additional funds for academically struggling students through Early Intervention (EIP) and Remedial Education Programs (REP). These programs drastically underserve the number of students who are not proficient on state assessments, and participation is inconsistent across districts. Georgia could dramatically improve the allocation of resources to non-proficient students by replacing these programs with a poverty-based opportunity weight. A formula weight that increases the per pupil allocation for low-income students would more effectively deliver resources to academically struggling students, while also giving districts the flexibility to design academic and social interventions that address students unique circumstances. We recommend that the Georgia Legislature 1) commission an independent cost study to determine the appropriate weight, 2) revise the funding formula to replace EIP and REP with the opportunity weight, and 3) develop an accountability framework to ensure that the funding generated is well spent.