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Local Lawmakers on Education Funding
Thursday, 17 January 2013

January 17--  Public school officials in Georgia are bracing for more state cuts to the education budget as the legislature convenes in Atlanta.

Some are concerned that the voter-approved Charter School Amendment to the state constitution will siphon off money which is needed by local school systems, however, State Representative Greg Morris of Vidalia disagrees.

Image"I understand some people were opposed to the Charter School Amendment, but it's not going to take any money from our local school systems.  The legislation specifically prohibits that.  What we need is a growing economy and that's how we invest in public education through a thriving local economy," Morris said.

Morris and State Senator Tommie Williams of Lyons discussed the state budget at the annual pre-legislative forum in Vidalia.

Senator Williams says lawmakers do all they can to protect the education budget given the realities of the state's economy.

Image"The education budget is about 45% of our budget, but you can't cut everybody else and leave education alone because we have to balance the budget.  Nobody says cutting the education budget is a good ide, but over the years, as we've made cuts, the percentage of cuts made to education is always the lowest.  Education is not all about money.  It has a lot to do with policy and getting creative.  I'm not saying it's easy for school boards.  It's really not and frankly we get worn down by having to make these cuts and explain to educators that we have to make the cuts," Williams says.

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