Georgia’s New Laws: Boosting Education and Tackling Crime

In a flurry of legislative activity, Georgia has enacted several new laws that will impact residents starting July 1. From education to criminal justice, these changes promise to shape the state’s future.

Boosting Teacher Pay

Georgia teachers and state employees are in for a welcome change. Public school teachers will receive a $2,500 raise, bringing the average teacher pay in the state above $65,000 annually. This increase, proposed by Republican Governor Brian Kemp, aims to recognize and support educators who play a crucial role in shaping young minds. Additionally, prekindergarten teachers will also see a $2,500 raise, further investing in early childhood education.

Education classroom scene

Housing and Legal Reforms

Homeowners and squatters alike will feel the impact of new housing-related laws. Homeowners associations (HOAs) must now provide property owners with time to address covenant breaches before taking legal action. Whether it’s a mismatched house color or other violations, homeowners will have an opportunity to rectify issues before facing legal consequences. Meanwhile, those who engage in illegal drag racing events will face tougher penalties, including potential felony charges, license suspension, fines, and prison time.

Education Choices and Support

Georgia prioritizes education with additional funding and support. Parents seeking better-performing schools for their children can now access vouchers worth up to $6,500 to send their kids to private schools. Moreover, kids between 14 and 17 years old in the custody of the Division of Family & Children Services will receive free state ID cards. The state also introduces the “Protecting Georgia’s Children on Social Media Act of 2024,” providing guidelines for social media use and internet safety in schools for minors. State workers will see their paid parental leave time double to 240 hours, supporting work-life balance for families.

Mental Health and Budgetary Measures

Georgia’s budget for fiscal year 2025 allocates significant resources to mental health and other critical areas. Lawmakers approved a $36.1 billion state budget, including raises for law enforcement, child welfare workers, and state employees. Notably, the state’s public prekindergarten program receives an extra $48 million in lottery funds, emphasizing the importance of early childhood education. The budget also addresses nursing homes, home health care providers, dialysis providers, and therapists, ensuring better care for vulnerable populations.


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