Educators long complained that the state shorted public schools, but a booming economy is helping Gov. Nathan Deal and lawmakers keep that from happening again in the upcoming year.
Deal on Wednesday signed a historic $26.2 billion budget that for the first time in more than a decade fully funds the formula used to pay for the public schooling of about 1.7 million Georgia children.
The mood at the Statehouse bill signing was in stark contrast to revolts in Kentucky, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Arizona in which teachers have marched out of schools and into statehouses to demand higher pay and more money for education.
In Atlanta, Capitol bill-signing ceremonies are typically formalities, but it was a big moment for Deal, who is retiring after this year and has been the target of attacks over “austerity cuts” in school funding that began long before he took office.