Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Tuesday proposed a plan that he said will “recruit, prepare, mentor, and retain the best educators” and give teachers more power to influence the state board of education.
Kemp unveiled his proposal at the Georgia State Capitol. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R-Cumming) and Speaker Pro-Tempore Jan Jones (R-Milton) stood alongside Kemp to show their support.
Kemp said his proposed legislation would, if enacted into law, employ a variety of methods. The governor, for instance, wants to hire military veterans.
“With some of the greatest, high-profile military bases in the country, there is no shortage of dedicated, hard-working veterans in the state who are eager to continue serving their community. To help recruit more teachers, we will strengthen an Armed Force veteran pathway to teacher certification,” Kemp said.
“This legislation will support and sustain the existing Georgia center pathways for veterans. Veterans will receive first priority and enrollment for teacher preparation programs and will have continued mentorship and support in the classroom.”
Kemp also said that Georgia’s historically Black colleges and universities would recruit more minority teachers “so students from all backgrounds and ethnicities can see themselves in their teachers.”
“This legislative package will also lean on prior experience to fill classroom positions as well-equipped professionals by allowing our retired teachers to come back to the classroom full time to teach in high-needs areas,” Kemp said.
The governor said too many teachers leave the profession because they have no say deciding policies at the state level. Under Kemp’s proposal, Georgia’s Teacher of the Year would advise the Georgia Board of Education and inform board members about how their decisions affect the state’s classrooms.
As The Georgia Star News reported last month, Kemp, during his 2021 State of the State address, recommended that state legislators spend $647 million to restore funding to school systems statewide after the COVID-19 pandemic.
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