Gov. Deal signs record Georgia budget with raises for teachers, others

Gov. Nathan Deal signed a record $25 billion state budget Monday that includes pay raises for 200,000 teachers and state employees, along with more than $1 billion in borrowing for construction projects.

Deal signed the budget at the Fulton County Division of Family and Children Services office in Atlanta to highlight 19 percent pay raises for child services workers and extra funding to compensate foster parents, both included in the spending plan.

Officials say the pay raise is badly needed because there is more than a 30 percent annual turnover rate among child services workers statewide, including about 40 percent in metro Atlanta.

Teachers and other state workers will be eligible for 2 percent pay raises under the state spending plan, which hits $49 billion when federal and other funds are included.

The budget, which goes into effect July 1, includes money for numerous construction projects, including two strongly supported by Deal: a $105 million state courts building on the site where the old state archives building was imploded in March, and more than $70 million to complete a new technical college campus in his home Hall County.