Georgia is co-increasing retirement benefits for public school employees

Georgia public school employees are set to receive an increase in their pension benefits after Gov. Brian P. Kemp signed Senate Bill 105 into law, the Georgia State Senate Press Office reports. Led by Senator Larry Walker III, the new legislation overhauls the public school employee retirement system to increase the multiplier that determines monthly benefits, providing an opportunity to protect the financial future of dedicated, classified public school employees.

According to the Georgia Senate Press Office, Walker thanked the governor, Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones, and his fellow legislators, stating, “I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Governor Brian Kemp, Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones, and Senate colleagues for their unwavering support of SB 105” and This bill not only places a higher value on the service of school support staff, but also ensures that their golden years shine a little brighter. The increased multiplier will increase monthly checks for retirees, a move that recognizes the effort and dedication of those employees who have kept Georgia schools running smoothly by driving buses, handing out meals and ensuring that the Classrooms were clean and safe for the state's children.

The significance of Senate Bill 105 is that it places emphasis on classified personnel, a segment often overlooked in conversations dominated by teacher pay raises and educational competencies. Walker made a point by acknowledging frontline workers as critical players in the education system: “School bus drivers, cafeteria workers, janitors and maintenance workers in Georgia have all too often been overlooked while we have prioritized teacher pay raises and upgrading the teaching profession.” for the opportunity to correct this oversight through actionable legislation, according to the State of Georgia Senate Press Office.

Lisa Morgan, president of the Georgia Association of Educators, was quoted as endorsing Walker's efforts. She acknowledged the amendment to SB 105, which eliminated the state law's permanent cap on retirement benefits, and praised Walker's leadership. She said, “Wouldn’t that be the chairman? “Walker’s bill, SB 105, and his leadership, would have left retirement benefits for these employees, who play an essential role in our children’s education, permanently limited in state law and could never have been increased.” According to the Georgia State Senate Press Office, the Georgia Association of Educators represents a broad range of public school personnel, including classroom teachers and support staff, and emphasizes the importance of each role in shaping the future of Georgia's 1.75 million public school students.

The passage of SB 105 reaffirms Georgia's stance on prioritizing the financial security and value of its public school workforce and represents a significant triumph for these employees who tirelessly contribute to the state's education system.