BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Fannin County School System will see a boost in funding as state lawmakers have voted to fully fund Georgia’s Quality Basic Education Act (QBE).
QBE was adopted unanimously by both houses of the Georgia General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Joe Frank Harris in 1985. The purpose of the QBE earnings are to provide an equal and adequate education for all public schools in the state of Georgia.
QBE works by providing additional funding to public schools in counties that do not have the a large income from property taxes.
State Funding Made Simple describes the process as “Because all counties are not created equal in terms of property tax wealth, they cannot raise the same amounts of money from local property taxes. The state provides additional funding to these counties according to a formula that compares the relative property tax wealth of all counties in the state. Systems at or below the 75% level can receive equalization funding in proportion to the amount of mills they levy beyond 5 mills.”
Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston spoke with BKP (Brian K. Pritchard) on his morning show Anything Goes about the accomplishments made in the past legislative session.
“For the first time in 16 years at least, we have fully funded QBE,” Ralston explained, “Which means that all of the austerity cuts to local school systems that started back in the middle of the Perdue administration and have continued forward because of the economy and other reasons, they’re now over.”
Economy did play a major part in the original cuts, and Georgia’s strengthening economy is reason for this full funding.
According to Governor Nathan Deal next year’s projected state revenue has increased by $194 million. This increase brings the FY 2019 state revenue estimate to $26.2 billion.
Because of this increase Deal is allocating an additional $167 million to K-12 education.
“Georgia’s strong economic growth in recent years has allowed us to invest heavily in education, transportation, public safety and healthcare,” says Deal.
“It’s going to mean about $375,000 right off the bat to Gilmer County,” Ralston said explaining the benefits to our area. “It’s going to mean about $285,000 right off the bat to Fannin County schools.”
School systems are allowed to use this funding in a number of areas to help maintain a basic standard of education for all Georgia public school students.
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