"With the additional funding this year, furloughs should be a thing of the past, and teachers should receive that 3 percent pay raise, " Deal said.
In his address, the governor expressed appreciation for teachers and state employees. But he also said teachers shouldn't be insulted by some of the changes --- such as merit pay for educators --- that are being proposed.
Since the Great Recession, employees and teachers have gotten little in the way of state-funded raises. Many saw their pay decline because the state and school districts furloughed staffers, meaning they had to take days off without pay.
While Deal included relatively small amounts of money in agency and district budgets for raises last year, some systems said they used the money to add back school days or eliminate furloughs left over from the recession.