First lady Marty Kemp announced a new initiative Tuesday aimed at combating human trafficking in the state. Speaking in the governor’s office, Kemp announced the creation of the Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion and Education, or GRACE Commission. The commission will be chaired by the first lady along with GBI Director Vic Reynolds and Speaker Pro-Tempore Jan Jones. Kemp spoke about her time traveling the state on the campaign trail and hearing about Georgians’ concerns. “One of the issues that struck closest to home for us was the rate of human trafficking in Georgia,” said Kemp. “At stops across the state, moms would tell me about their concerns about their children’s safety. They were truly worried that they could be in harm’s way. And I heard this from people of all walks of life.” In 2017, there were 276 human trafficking cases reported in Georgia, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Nineteen percent of these cases involved minors. Last week,...READ MORE
Education: HB 31 includes a $2,775 pay raise for certified teachers and certified personnel, including counselors, social workers, psychologists, special education specialists, speech and language pathologists, media specialists and technology specialists. The pay raise maintains one state salary schedule for certified teachers and certified employees, as stated in Georgia Code. The $2,775 pay raise is reflected in all Department of Education programs where funds for certified teachers and certified employees are earned on the state salary schedule, including $483 million for the Quality Basic Education (QBE) Program and $6 million for programs outside of QBE, including Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Supports (GNETS), Preschool Disabilities Services, Residential Treatment Facilities, and State Schools. HB 31 also includes $2.8 million to provide bus drivers, lunch room workers, and school nurses a 2% pay raise. The House version of HB 31 restores funding for school nurses. Also, $500,000 is appropriated as grants to schools for feminine hygiene products for low-income students under...READ MORE
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