Budget review: State’s disinvestment in education undermined economic health of state

The Georgia Budget & Policy Institute reviewed Gov. Deal’s  2013 budget and also did an analysis of the pre-k-12 and higher education budgets.

Here is a brief summation from the institute:

  • Contains $930 million in additional funds; however, the budget is nearly $2 billion less than the pre-recession budget of FY 2009. Most of the increased spending keeps the Medicaid budget whole ($244 million), pays for increased number of students in K-12, Board of Regents, and Technical College System ($188 million), and makes the required payments into the Teachers and State Employee Retirement Systems ($146 million).
  • Faces a projected $320-million deficit in FY 2014.
  • Fully funds student growth within the Department of Education (K-12); however, the budget does not begin to restore the more than $1 billion (12.5 percent) in cuts to K-12 education in recent years.
  • Partially funds student growth within the Board of Regents, cutting funding by an additional $35 million. The Board of Regents budget is down more than $450 million (19.9 percent) since FY 2009.
  • Partially funds Technical College System enrollment growth, cutting funding by $2 million. The Technical College System budget is down by $42 million since FY 2009. These cuts have resulted in the Technical College System faculty being made up of 71 percent part-time and adjunct faculty. Such staffing jeopardizes the accreditation of the Technical College System.
  • The state’s disinvestment in education over the past four years has negatively impacted the economic health of the state. One of the most important factors for job growth and a healthy economy is a well-trained and educated workforce. Instead of cutting prior investments and underfunding public resources such as schools that are most important for future job growth, a balanced and targeted approach to state budgets, one that includes additional revenues, would allow Georgia to position itself to prosper as the economy recovers.

    –From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

    14 comments Add your comment


    January 24th, 2012
    9:43 am

    We are willing to pay for things that we value. This sends a clear, unfortunate message about how education is valued in Georgia.

    The state’s contribution to K-12 continues to decline. Until property values improve (or we change the way we fund K-12 schools) local contributions also suffer. Seems like a lose-lose option.

    From the PK-12 analysis summary

    “For FY 2013, the governor restores 10 school days to the Pre-K school year but eliminates 2,000 Pre-K slots. The restoration of Pre-K school days will hopefully attract teachers back into Pre-K classrooms.”

    If you eliminate 2000 Pre-K slots, do you really need to attract teachers back to Pre-K or are they fully staffed? Looks like another fiscal shell game.

    Atlanta Mom

    January 24th, 2012
    9:49 am

    The 1 billion in cuts to education–is that a annual number or a cumulative number? If cumulative–what is the time period involved? Thanks.


    January 24th, 2012
    9:55 am

    The government of Georgia is being realistic about their expenditures for education. The leading jobs in Georgia are manufacturing and agriculture.
    In agriculture it is growing peanuts,tobacco,cotton,livestock and poultry.
    How much education is needed for those jobs?
    Also, the vacation industry, cooks, waiters, grounds keepers for the golf courses. There are also federal facilities like prisons,guards, wardens.
    Ft. Benning and the Kings Bay Naval Station, soldiers, sailors.
    The Center for disease control, they need some education there. That is about it.


    January 24th, 2012
    10:07 am

    Duh. How much education do you need to pick cotton, or work at the mill? Especially as we compete with Texas and other foreign parts to be a low-wage state, do we need a bunch of Einsteins? If folks want more than a job at the mill, they should do like their role models in the capitol and inherit property and privilege from their parents, or pander and lie their way into state government positions.

    Maureen Downey

    January 24th, 2012
    10:21 am

    @Atlanta: From Herb Garrett:

    I’d like for folks to know that the $1.1 BILLION dollar shortfall is the number just for a single year, not a cumulative number. The cumulative number since Perdue took office is well in excess of $4 BILLION. I realize that big old numbers like that become meaningless pretty quickly, but nevertheless..


    January 24th, 2012
    10:38 am

    Thanks for cutting through the spin and bs from the Republicans. The Emperor has no cloths. All of us who have had kids in school the last few years have experienced and seen the impact of the cuts. In the meantime, UGA built state of the art athletic facilities and Deal seriously wants to use taxpayer funding to give Arthur Blank his $500 million new football stadium. And this is all probably what your average yahoo wants.


    January 24th, 2012
    10:51 am

    @Nelson and @Roach – glad you’re willing for your children to pick peanuts or shovel $hit, but I want more for my own kids and those that I teach….you both win the award for the biggest mental lapse ever for a post


    January 24th, 2012
    11:36 am

    Just checked in to see if there was anything here. Nope: still the empty, greedy educrat mantra, “WAAAH, WE WANT MORE MONEY! IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT, YOU AWFUL TAXPAYERS!”

    The more things change…

    Maureen Downey

    January 24th, 2012
    11:47 am

    Dr. Monica Henson

    January 24th, 2012
    12:02 pm

    We can spend aabout $8,000 a year per student in a high school for a quality education…or we can spend about $24,000 a year per inmate to incarcerate them.

    About 75% of prison inmates in this country are dropouts.

    Beverly Fraud

    January 24th, 2012
    12:34 pm

    Dr. Henson, I think Dr. Trotter would have a very different opinion on the role of “motivation” when it comes to student achievement.

    And I do wonder if we did, as he suggests, but the onus of learning on the STUDENT, how many BILLIONS we could save?

    Not to excuse the guys making the cuts. These charlatans the ALLEGED “personal responsibility” and “law and order” crowd, have done next to NOTHING to empower teachers to hold students responsible for their learning and behavior.

    So the question is, if they are determined to DISMANTLE public education in Georgia, why not just HONEST about it, instead of putting teachers through a meatgrinder of deliberately being set up to fail?

    Quick Links: » Leonard Presberg

    January 24th, 2012
    4:18 pm

    [...] of the Governor’s proposed budget on education:http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2012/01/24/budget-review-states-disinvestment-in-education-un… Please share:EmailShareShareStumbleUponRedditDigg  Posted by leonardp at 4:18 [...]

    In Brief | COE Policy Blog

    January 25th, 2012
    2:48 pm

    [...] Downey at Get Schooled highlights several new analyses of Governor Deal’s proposed 2013 budget by the Georgia Budget [...]

    Education Lady

    July 19th, 2012
    10:30 am

    Yes, Georgia still relies heavily on agriculture, but not only on agriculture. Even in agriculture, you must be educated to be successful. You also need trained employees which are fewer since machinery has taken the place of man power. Georgia has mechanics, nurses, doctors, lawyers, judges, teachers, scientists, professors, artist and on and on. These and many other professions require education; therefore we should invest in our present and future by educating our youth as well as educating the workforce.