Posted: 8:48 am Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Nathan Deal: Increase school spending by $547 million 

By Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

011614 leg budget

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal speaks at the Georgia Chamber Annual Eggs & Issues Breakfast at the Georgia World Congress Center. Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

Gov. Nathan Deal will announce this morning that he’s ready to boost education spending by $547 million next year – the largest jump in school funding since the beginning of the Great Recession.

Brian Robinson, a spokesman for Deal, confirmed the governor’s intentions at this morning’s Eggs and Issues breakfast, a precursor to Deal’s state-of-the-state speech later in the day.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogThe emphasis on education spending comes as his three election-year rivals — state School Superintendent John Barge and Dalton Mayor David Pennington, both Republicans, and Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter — hammer the GOP incumbent over past education cuts.

Deal’s proposed school spending bump was first reported by Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM), who quoted the governor thusly: “You will see the largest single increase in K-12 funding since about 2007 or ‘08.  It will be an additional half billion dollars that we are putting into K-12 education.”

A portion of the extra spending is aimed at pay increases for teachers, who haven’t seen a raise in several years.

Barge, who was caught off guard by the specifics of the increase, said he was “cautiously optimistic” but said the state has a ways to go to fill the gap. “We’re looking at over $1 billion in austerity cuts,” he said.

When asked if he sees the governor’s proposal as an election-year gambit, he added: “I don’t want to presume a motive, but anything is possible.”

***

Gov. Nathan Deal parceled out a few other tidbits about his spending plan at the Eggs & Issues breakfast.

He plans to spend more than $12 million for life flights in southwest Georgia, where several hospitals have closed, and $5 million to cover tech school training for in the high-growth areas of welding, health care technology, diesel mechanics and information technology.

Another $25 million would be set aside to “meet the needs of businesses looking to locate or expand in our state.” Think closing funds and cash for incentives to lure firms to invest here.

***

As the governor prepared to unfurl education funding increases in a state spending plan that will top $20 billion, one of his Republican rivals was walking back the suggestion that he would tap the state’s restored cash reserves to bolster schools.

School Superintendent John Barge, who is challenging Deal in the GOP primary, raised some alarms at the Capitol with his remarks at an education conference a few days ago, in which he said he would tap the state’s cash reserves to start replacing the $1 billion gap between what goes toward schools and what the state’s school QBE funding formula demands.

“You’re not going to be able to fully restore a billion,” he told Morris News Service’s Walter Jones. “I know that. But it’s not going to take that to alleviate some of the pressure. We’ve got to start somewhere.”

We bugged him about it today to get more details since there are legal and fiscal limits to what the reserve account can fund. He wanted to clarify:

“I probably wasn’t perfectly clear. What I meant to say by that statement is our reserves our built up but we still have increased revenue coming in. It’s time to start restoring funding to QBE ….

“I wasn’t clear in that comment. I didn’t mean we would use that reserve fund, I meant it’s time to use that increase and apply it to the QBE. I know I said it — I just should have taken the opportunity to clarify. “

What he said.

***

The move to allow college administrators to “opt in” to allow expanded gun rights on college campuses has a new twist. State Rep. Alan Powell, one of the measure’s sponsors, told GPB’s “On The Story” that students, not administrators, may yet have the final say.

“We’re looking at an idea that maybe the provision could be to let the students have a vote, a referendum on the issue on their respective campuses,” said the Hartwell Republican. “There’s a lot of possibilities and we’re looking at all of them.”

***011514 leg briefs

Linda Murphy wipes away a tear during a memorial in the House Chambers for her husband, the late Rep. Quincy Murphy of Augusta. Lawmakers, including House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, right, paid tribute to Murphy and Rep. Calvin Hill of Canton. Both lawmakers died last year. Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

***

Richard Belcher of Channel 2 Action News got it on the record: State Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellvilles, will ask the state to pay the legal fees arising from his acquittal on 18 felony counts associated with the misuse of his legislative expense account:

One of Balfour’s attorneys, Ken Hodges, put the cost at “north of $100,000.”

***

Expect more national attention for Michelle Nunn. The Washington Post already laid out a Sunday A1 story on the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, and we bumped into a New York Times reporter working on a step-back piece on Georgia’s elections in Athens on Tuesday.

***

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer is reporting that criminal defense attorney Stacey Jackson, an African-American and a Republican, will seek the Republican nomination for the southwest Georgia House seat currently held by Democrat Debbie Buckner:

“The question is almost why not?” Jackson said Tuesday morning. “I grew up in Harris County. My father was an educator in Talbot County and the principal at Central-Talbotton in the 1980s before he move to Harris County-Carver Middle School. My mother is assistant principal at Harris County High School. I have relatives in Meriwether County and relatives in Columbus. It makes sense.”

***

These lines from Reuters are sure to receive an airing out by several local media outlets today:

Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) has lifted U.S. production of its all-electric Leaf by about 50 percent to 3,000 units a month to meet growing demand for the car, the head of the Japanese automaker’s North American operations said on Tuesday.

Jose Munoz said the Leaf logged record sales of 2,500 units in December and was now the best-selling car in some dealerships in Atlanta, where the government is helping promote the technology, outpacing the Altima sedan.

If we’re not mistaken, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle owns one of the vehicles.

32 comments
mrob
mrob

Do you really believe the "Dealer" proposal to fund education if he is re-elected?

Any clever and corrupt salesman knows how to throw money to motivate the vulnerable, the poor, and the weak to consider his offering a second "DEAL"


Believe the hype if you want to. I'll take my chance with Carter and he's clean. This "Deal" from the "DEALER" is not.



CARMS
CARMS

For all of the naysaying that is going on here on this board, I think if you ask teachers, they would readily welcome the plan by Mr. Deal.  Regardless of the reason, and the skeptics call it election-year maneuvering, while realists recognize the  increase in state revenue, it is a move in the right direction.  Thank you Mr. Deal. 

jaggar1
jaggar1

Oh yes, let's promises money to education in an election year. Everyone is so ignorant they won't realize that I will take it away the following year. Please, Deal is out of office come November! You have cut education funding leaving school district to cut school days , furlough staff, and then increase insurance premiums while giving a catastrophic insurance plan. Are we suppose to be impressed or thank him? Get him out of office! The politicians of Georgia have been balancing the budget off teachers and state employees for over 5 years now. All the while, allowing their peers to spend money on frivolous items for their home counties.  Disgusting what you have done to state employees and the children of our state!

MoFaux
MoFaux

To those echoing raises for State employees, Deal's budget has $38 million set aside for "incentive programs for high-performing existing state employees".  I have no idea what that means though, and $38 million isn't much to split up amongst 110k people, unless it's only going towards the highest rated employees.  $343 raise isn't much at all, especially after waiting 7 years.  So, for all those people who are doing their jobs adequately, but aren't considered a "high performer", you get the middle finger.  Again.  This move is way too little, way too late.

Charles50
Charles50

The Gov is promising raises in 2015--seven years after the last COLA received by most state employees.  Insurance rates have been increasing for some time not to mention everything else that has impacted pocketbooks and wallets like the price of gas, food, etc. over the years.  But Let's Make a Deal wants you to think he's trying to help employees.  Riiiiggghht.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

I agree that other state employees should, also, get pay raises.  It has been unconscionable what has been done to Georgia's state employees, including teachers, in the past dozen years.

potstirrer
potstirrer

I agree with RoadScholar. Why do teachers get "special treatment". What about pay raises for the other majority of State employees. We have not had a pay raise in EIGHT YEARS! That's a real motivator!

With our insurance premiums up 100%(our case) thanks to obo care, its time to spend a few dollars for the other workers in this state.

Oh by the way, the cheating issue with DeKalb, Fulton cty's do little for our faith in our educators.

It does NOT take a village, dump COMMON CORE!

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

The teachers should get a pay raise. The morale building of teachers - who for too long have endured too much disrespect as scapegoats for societal changes and as targets for ideological purposes - will change many school dynamics for the better. The result of building teachers' spirits will benefit students.

That morale building cannot be achieved by words alone. Politicians will put the state's money where their values are. Show teachers that you value their efforts by giving them a pay raise.

Bernie31
Bernie31

After reading this FAIRYTALE of Promises...I could not help but to go to The Original Fairy Name Generator Your Fairy Name. I entered the Name of NATHAN DEAL below is  the result of his FAIRY NAME.


"Singer Demontwist"

He is a playful mischief maker.
He lives in church yards and places of the dead.
He can only be seen on midsummer's eve.
He wears silver and white feathers and has red wings like a brightly colored butterfly.

I would say The NAME Fits like OJ Simpsons Glove...Dear Leader should wear it
 

uh...huh

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

would be great if the state was able to stipulate that 100% of this money had to go to front line teachers - and not the massive eduacracy that has built up as we have poured enormous amounts of money into our public school systems.


Doubling of the spending per student, even after factoring in inflation, and nothing - absolutely nothing - in the way of improvement to show for it.  But to some folks, the results obviously don't matter, just that fact that they "cared enough to do something"...especially if the thing they did was with someone elses money!!  Yeah, free money!!

Bernie31
Bernie31

Dear Leader promises that he will make it RAIN! Make it Rain for as many DOLLARS Necessary to make ALL of YOU to think I REALLY CARE about EDUCATION.  A play right out of the Kasim Reed Political PLAY BOOK of  Political expediency by Any Means Necessary.

Dear Leader The smooth talking Silver Tongued Devil.

I will PROMISE you the STARS, The MOON and Sun if you would just Vote for  ME and re-elect Me to a Second term as Governor.

I Promise I will NOT CARE for the POOR & Needy nor for the Sick and in-firmed. 

One thing you can count On fer sure, I am a MEAN and SELFISH SOB, for this is who I TRULY AM. Always have been and always will be.

Praise Jaysus....

I am Only making this Promise Because of Jimmy's Grandson, Who is Breathing HOT and Heavy down My Neck and I am not ready to just WALK AWAY without a FIGHT!

uh..huh

DontTread
DontTread

Yes, it's time to restore funding in high-priority areas if you have the revenue to support it.


You liberals can cry "foul" all you want when funding is cut because revenue is down, but that's economic reality and prudent fiscal policy.  Deal with it.  Maybe move to a blue state where they don't have balanced budget requirements.

DunwoodyMom1
DunwoodyMom1

I wouldn't give a $.01 to DeKalb Schools unless they put, IN WRITING, that teachers will get a pay increase and make them put forth a specific plan on how they plan to pay those teachers.  If you just hand that money over, Thurmond and his administration will see that the money continues to go to non-teaching positions. 

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

A clear cut bribe due to the lack of teacher support in the last election.  Jason Carter has already announced full support for education as a primary portion of his platform - so who pops up with a couple of bucks for the teachers?  Republicans think that the only motivator is money.  It turns out that all studies demonstrate that praise, acknowledgement, and attention are far stronger motivators and improve work product and cooperation.  But, to know that, the administrator must have received an education himself.  

MidGaRetiree
MidGaRetiree

Given the federal government's reputation for trustworthiness and keeping its promises ("If you like your health care plan, you can keep it"), I am glad that Gov. Deal is not expanding Medicaid.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Gee, liberal media outlets such as the Washington Post and New York Times in addition to the AJC doing puff pieces on Michelle Nunn in an attempt to boost her Democratic party campaign.

Hardly news or surprising.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

So Deal is trying to "Bribe" teachers with a pay raise. How about state employees? Enough bribe money to go around? Same size raises?


Students to vote on guns on campus? I wonder if there will be a free bar? Are you kidding me?


If that is the way to lead, then let the poor vote on whether the state should increase Medicare/medicaid or healthcare in general?

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

I am not concerned about Dr. John Barge's clarification of his prior words. I am just grateful to Dr. Barge for making the state of education in Georgia one of the priorities of the upcoming election.  Bravo!  Well done.


I am also grateful that Gov. Deal has declared a budget in the coming year in which almost half of a billion dollars will be allotted to Georgia's public education. We shall see, in the coming months, if Gov. Deal, also, has the political courage to break free from the extreme rightwing national Republican agenda which hopes to dismantle traditional not-for-profit public schools for quasi-private public schools. This unfortunate agenda would use public tax money to pay corporations to run those quasi-private schools, which, imo, will eventually lead to schools created for the purpose of corporate profit, using public tax money to do so.


(We shall, also, see if Gov. Deal can break free from the extreme rightwing Republican agenda of not expanding Medicaid, as a part of the ACA, so that an additional 650,000 Georgians will have the security of health insurance in Georgia. I was present at the Moral Monday rally in the rain on this past Monday at the Capitol. The spirit of the people there, of all races and ages, was beautiful to behold. Surely, the Governor will do the right thing for this many uninsured Georgians. Thanking you, in advance, Gov. Deal, sincerely . . . .)

Bernie31
Bernie31

@MaryElizabethSings Let US Not mention The Dastardly Plan that is in STORE and Laying in WAIT for Dear Leader's Second term. All WOMEN who are Teachers, ,Administrators and employees of the STATE. will no Longer have the FREEDOM of Choice over ALL of their healthcare decisions.


When The time is Right...after the Election "DEMONTWIST" along with his Clownish  Cohorts plan to SPRING THE TRAP..


The TRAP of "EXCLUSIONS and EXCEPTIONS" will be brought to the Light of DAY.

These women will now have the STATE of Georgia in the EXAM ROOM with the Physician and WOMAN.


The State will make a DEMAND of "I Need Proof"...and the WOMAN must get a NOTE form the State of Georgia Human Resources OFFICE before a Healthcare Decision can be made by the WOMAN and her Physician.


If you are Not frustrated by the NOTE CARRYING process and still want to continue forward with the Woman's decision. An ULTRASOUND will then be required and make the WOMAN WATCH. She must then sign a form that says The Ultrasound was performed and she Watched.

If the Woman then still insist on her decision...then SHE MUST NOW PAY FOR IT...out of Pocket.....AHHHHHH....Hence, "EXCLUSIONS AND EXCEPTIONS."

Demontwist and his Followers sincerely believe that  WOMAN is "EVIL and Sinful EVE INCARNATE"  

Their belief is EVE (WOMAN) cannot be TRUSTED to Do the RIGHT THING AT ALL...so they THE STATE OF GEORGIA) must tag along to MAKE SURE she does.


For This is F-R-E-E-D-O-M  in the Republican World.





Falcaints
Falcaints

Sorry but you can't blame Obama for your health insurance.  This is on Deal and his "no competition" insurance plan.  Blue Cross gave the gov. what he asked for.  It has nothing to do with Obamacare.

JackJill199
JackJill199

@Bernie31 

If you Like Your HealthCare you can keep your HealthCare!  Let's see ....Who said that???

Uncommonsenses
Uncommonsenses

Don't blame tread on me! He is just saying what the tea party told him too.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@DontTread


Education funding has been cut by 7.5 billion dollars since 2003, well before the state's fiscal problems began.

Charles50
Charles50

@Ralph-43 Money is a motivator but when it comes int he form of a promise during an election year it is very suspect.  Reminds me of promising to take down the toll booths AFTER the vote on TSPLOST.  Eventually it happened, but why couldn't it have taken place sooner?

The-Centrist
The-Centrist

@MidGaRetiree Only in GA would someone think it's smarter to spend $12 million in GA state taxpayers' money than to accept billiions in federal money.

DannyX
DannyX

@The_Centrist,


You poor thing, I hope you have a fainting couch to soften the blow from fainting everyday.

Uncommonsenses
Uncommonsenses

Most teachers I know are still not going to vote for him.

The-Centrist
The-Centrist

@RoadScholar I'm sure bribery has something to do with it, but I'll take it for whatever reason - our schools and teachers are desperately underfunded - this is good news.

JackJill199
JackJill199

@MaryElizabethSings 

ACA Problems began with ..."If you LIKE YOUR HEALTHCARE YOU CAN KEEP YOUR HEALTHCARE>>> And Until that Garbage is REPEALED Problems WILL CONTINUE!!

Charles50
Charles50

@Falcaints Agreed.  The insurance for state employees has been increasing nearly every year for some time.  The fact that we have only one vendor has NOTHING to do with Obamacare.  I believe this was purely a political move.  If you ask, most employees really liked United Healthcare.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Earlier this morning, we told you that Gov. Nathan Deal would include in today’s budget proposal more than $12 million for life flights in southwest Georgia, where several hospitals have closed. […]

  2. […] Deal’s team hopes the move pays dividends. With education at the center of his re-election bid, the resurgence in DeKalb is the type of bipartisan teamwork Deal’s team salivates […]

  3. […] Deal’s team hopes the move pays dividends. With education at the center of his re-election bid, the resurgence in DeKalb is the type of bipartisan teamwork Deal’s team salivates […]