(The Center Square) — Georgia plans to give a $125 supplement to teachers in the state to offset the cost of classroom materials and ostensibly help students rebound from learning losses suffered amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Georgia officials cannot say how much money in total the state plans to give public school teachers as part of the “Back-to-School Supply Supplement” program.
Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, announced the initiative targeting full-time public-school teachers and staff “who work to provide instructional and supportive services directly to students on a daily basis.” Under the plan, they can use the money to buy materials and supplies for “age-appropriate” educational purposes that help students.
“We hope this $125 ‘Back-to-School Supply Supplement’ will aid in these efforts and help us close the learning loss gap caused by the pandemic,” Kemp said in an announcement. “When it comes to protecting our children and their bright futures, we will not quit or slow down. That work will continue well into the new school year and those that follow.”
Spokespeople for the governor and the Georgia Department of Education could not confirm how much the awards might total. According to the Georgia Department of Education’s website, there are more than 119,000 teachers in Georgia, and the total amount awarded could exceed $14 million.
The state is tapping into the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund for the money. Georgia has about $59.7 million in GEER funds available.