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Educator urging lawmakers to stop funding cuts

LAWRENCEVILLE - Jeff Hubbard, the president of the Georgia Association of Educators, said he is urging state legislators to stop imposing austerity cuts on public school funding.

Although the current economy will pose a challenge to the General Assembly, Hubbard said it is important for delegates to fully fund the Quality Basic Education Act. Austerity cuts have cost school systems about $141 million; Gwinnett County Public Schools has lost $125.9 million in state funding since fiscal year 2003.

"Even in times of economic crisis, investing in Georgia's children is a win-win situation," Hubbard said. "Investing in the future of Georgia means investing now in our children. Any short-term economic pain will be rewarded with a well-educated citizenry ready to provide Georgia with a world-class work force."

Gwinnett County Public Schools Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks also plans to ask legislators to fully fund the QBE formula. In last week's school board work session, Wilbanks presented a draft of the school system's legislative priorities, which included a request to protect public education appropriation from further austerity reductions.

The Gwinnett County Board of Education will be asked to adopt the list of state funding improvement requests and positions during its November business meeting.