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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

GA Proposes Teacher Pay Hikes; Educators Say More Work Needed

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Thursday, March 16, 2023   

Georgia's Fiscal Year 2024 budget could bring a $2,000 salary boost for teachers, addressing the alarming educator shortage.

Educators say low wages, scarce mental-health resources for students, and a challenging work environment contribute to high turnover and retention issues in the state.

Claire Suggs, senior education policy analyst with the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, underlined the challenges.

"We have shortages in special education, in math and in science, but a lot of our rural school districts have struggled for a long time across fields," Suggs explained. "It's just harder for these small communities to attract and keep educators."

In 2021, Georgia's new teachers earned roughly $27,000 annually, with seasoned educators reaching $54,000 after 35 years, according to the Southern Regional Education Board. The budget seeks to address the challenges educators face in repaying student loans and the need for competitive wages, building on a recent $5,000 pay hike.

The increase also aims to lower turnover and attract skilled teachers to public schools. Nevertheless, Suggs emphasized the salary growth is just a piece of a more comprehensive solution.

"We just need to think about the working conditions of teachers and all the folks in schools serving students and how we support them and continue to provide pathways for them to thrive as professionals," Suggs urged.

Ultimately, the proposed teacher pay raise, combined with other efforts including a bill allowing retired teachers to come back to the classroom, signifies a focus on expanding the educator workforce. The decision now rests with lawmakers in the state Senate, where the budget could undergo more changes.


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