As students across Georgia are making plans to head back into the classrooms, Democratic nominee for Governor Stacey Abrams released her own plan for Georgia’s education system.
At a press conference, the former Georgia House Minority Leader said fully funding the Quality Basic Education formula for schools is an important first step in serving Georgia’s students, but it’s not enough.
If elected governor, Abrams said she would complement that full funding with investing in the “whole child,” through wraparound services like nutrition and health programs and initiatives tailored to specific communities.
She said state leaders need to focus on the non-educational markers in a child’s life because that impacts educational performance.
“If a child goes to class but can't focus on the chalkboard because they can't see it, or because they haven't eaten since the day before… we know that's a problem,” Abrams said.
Outgoing Republican Governor Nathan Deal made education a priority. In his final year he fully funded the state’s K-12 QBE formula for the first time after more than a decade of cuts, to the tune of $9.6 billion.
Abrams applauded the move, but says the decades-old formula needs to be revamped to better reflect the needs of Georgia’s diverse population.
“You should not have to have a degree in cartography in Georgia to get your children a good education,” Abrams said. “And I intend to be the governor who says that no matter what your school district, your education is yours, and we will value it, and we will invest in it and we will make certain that you get the best quality outcome.”
That’s a point Republican nominee Secretary of State Brian Kemp agrees with. On Kemp’s website, his education plan includes “updat[ing the] QBE formula to strengthen local schools, put students first.”