Georgia Democrat Abrams proposes big boost in teacher pay

Stacey Abrams
Stacey Abrams(Contributed)
Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 10:19 AM EDT
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TUCKER, Ga. (AP) — Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams is proposing a big teacher pay raise in her run for governor.

Abrams says Gov. Brian Kemp’s much-touted $5,000 across-the-board increase is not enough to recruit and retain teachers.

Abrams said Sunday she wants to boost average teacher pay over four years to $75,000, and average starting pay to $50,000.

Abrams says the plan would cost more than $400 million a year.

Kemp’s campaign says Abrams is proposing a ruinous amount of new spending.

But Abrams says Georgia can expand Medicaid health insurance and boost teacher pay without raising taxes, using growth in state tax collections.

Officials say Abrams’ plan would increase the state base salary for teachers from $39,092 to $50,000, and move Georgia from 21st in the nation for teacher salaries to the top 10.

“Georgia’s students and their families always come first. To meet this mission, we must fully fund public education in our state to ensure our children have a strong early start and the chance at a better future,” Abrams said.

“Central to our children’s educational success is supporting the teachers, paraprofessionals and support staff who help us grow resilient children. ... Building One Georgia requires that we prioritize and invest in every generation — and that begins with public education.”

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