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Notes on Education Funding

Dear Friends and fellow Georgians,

Along with my community, I take great take pride in our Cobb County public schools. Both my daughters attended Cobb County schools K through12. My wife is a Cobb County public school teacher. My earliest community efforts in Cobb County were focused on education funding.

Our great state has a constitutional responsibilty to provide an adequate educaton for all the children of Georgia. We should keep in mind that there are many areas of our state where the tax base simply does not exist as it does in most parts of metro Atlanta, including Cobb County. We in Cobb County are fortunate to benefit from a great geographical location, an outstanding technical college, the third largest universty in our Universty system, Lockheed-Marietta, Dobbins AFB, the Cobb Energy Center, the legacy of visionary Cobb County leaders over generations, and all the great people who are the citizens of Cobb County. The list could go on.

Over the last several years, the state has been forced to make many reductions in state spending because of the reductions in state revenue. Instead of raising taxes, the Governor and the general Assembly made difficult choices regarding spending, and cut approximately 20% in general state appropriations. On the other hand, funding for education was cut approximately 8%. If education had been funded at QBE levels, it would have been necessary to eliminate numerous smaller state agencies that are also important to Georgians.

Over half of the budget for the state of Georgia is appropriated for education. For the FY 2015 budget that was just recently approved by the General Assembly, of the total  of $20,836,744,620 appropriated, $10,651,567,466 goes for education, including $7,944,481,675 for K-12 education.

It should be noted that The Cobb County School District has a "rainy day" fund of over $100,000,000. That important fact is not mentioned in the district's video regarding its budget.During the depth of the "Great Recession", the General Assembly and the Governor found it necessary to use the state's reserve fund to fund important government functions, including education. That is what a reserve or "rainy day" fund is created and funded for. Fortunately, we are now rebuilding that state reserve fund.

I am very happy that we Republican leaders of the General Assembly and Governor Deal have made education, and its funding a priority. Over 40% of the increased spending in the FY2015 budget over the previous fiscal year budget is going to local education funding. This 2014 session, we have once again increased funding for the QBE and for education in general.


Don Parsons


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Capitol Office: 404-656-9198
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