— Press Release

Kemp Campaign Comes Out Against Raising Teacher Salaries and Lowering Insulin Costs – And For Higher Gas Taxes

ATLANTA – This weekend, after Democratic nominee for Governor Stacey Abrams announced a plan to increase the state base salary for teachers serving Georgia students and families from $39,092 to $50,000 a year, the Kemp campaign wasted no time deriding this paid-for proposal to support our education system along with Abrams’ recently released plan to lower the cost of insulin – while refusing to prevent higher gas taxes in 2022.
“Brian Kemp has made clear he views raising teacher pay to give our students the best possible education and lowering health care costs for Georgians as ‘pie-in-the-sky’ proposals, but has still signaled he will raise gas prices by the end of 2022,” said Alex Floyd, spokesman for the Abrams campaign. “Stacey Abrams has put forth clearly-thought-out and paid-for proposals that make smart investments in education and health care. Sadly, Brian Kemp and his allies seem to think Georgians should pay sky-high prices for insulin and higher gas prices by the end of the year, and that our students are not worthy of federally provided surplus dollars.”
Abrams’ plan to raise teacher pay would take Georgia from 35th in the nation for teacher salaries to the top 10 – without raising taxes – so that the educators teaching our students are fairly compensated for their work serving Georgia’s children. Her plan would also increase teacher salaries overall from the current average of $62,500 to an average of $73,500 in her first term and ensure a living wage for education support professionals. 
But even as Kemp’s campaign has misled and criticized Abrams’ plans to help improve the lives of all Georgians, Kemp was perfectly happy to give himself and his wealthy backers a massive tax handout during this year’s legislative session – after already increasing his wealth by more $3 million over the course of his time in office.
Read the Abrams campaign’s initial press release announcing her plan to invest in Georgia educators below:

NEW: Stacey Abrams Introduces New Plan to Support Georgia Students by Investing in Georgia’s Educators
Abrams’ plan would increase the state base salary for teachers from $39,092 to $50,000

ATLANTA – Today, Democratic nominee for Governor, Stacey Abrams, introduced a new plan to better serve Georgia’s students by investing in the teachers, paraprofessionals and support staff who tirelessly serve the children of Georgia each day. Abrams’ plan would increase the state base salary for teachers from $39,092 to $50,000, and move Georgia from 21st in the nation for teacher salaries to the top 10. 

“Georgia’s students and their families always come first. To meet this mission, we must fully fund public education in our state to ensure our children have a strong early start and the chance at a better future,” said Stacey Abrams. “Central to our children’s educational success is supporting the teachers, paraprofessionals and support staff who help us grow resilient children. As Governor, I will raise the state base salary from $39,092 to $50,000 and support living wages and advancement for our education support professionals. When our educators are highly valued and fairly compensated for their commitment to education, our children benefit. Building One Georgia requires that we prioritize and invest in every generation — and that begins with public education.”

Georgia educators face a range of challenges; however, chief among the concerns is pay. Low wages force teachers to drop out of the profession or leave the state, and fewer teachers are entering the profession due to the long-term lack of financial growth. Although we are the eighth largest state in the nation, this year our state ranked 21st for teacher salaries. Georgia ($39,092) lags behind neighboring states like Mississippi ($41,638) and Florida ($47,500) who are taking steps to raise base teacher pay to support and retain more educators.

Stacey Abrams is the only candidate with a comprehensive plan to support children, cradle to career, and she will fully fund public education without raising taxes. As part of a robust public education plan to support children from cradle to career, Stacey will invest in our teachers, paraprofessionals and support staff at unprecedented levels. 

Specifically, she will:

  • Raise minimum teacher pay: Increase the state base salary for teachers from $39,092 to $50,000.
  • Raise teacher salaries overall: Increase teacher salaries from current average of $62,500 to an average of $73,500 in her first term.
  • Make Georgia a leader in teacher pay: Move Georgia from 21st in the nation in teacher salaries to the top 10.
  • Support living wages and advancement for education support professionals: Ensure a living wage for ESPs, as well as professional development that will aid them in advancing in the education workforce.

View Stacey Abrams’ full plan here.