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'Welcomed and extremely needed': Gov. Kemp announces $47M in relief funds for Georgia schools

$15.4 million will be used to provide K-12 teachers with grants to assist with classroom expenses.

MACON, Ga. — This week, Governor Brian Kemp announced that Georgia schools will receive $47 million in federal relief funds, and a chunk of that money will go to K-12 teachers. 

$15.4 million will be used to provide them with grants to assist with classroom expenses.

Jordan Ramsey is an eighth grade social studies teacher at Miller Magnet School.

Ramsey usually dips into her own pockets to make sure her students have the items that they need and for her classroom to be enjoyable. 

"A lot of the things that you see in my classroom were bought with my own money or with my family -- they make a lot of donations," Ramsey said.

She has spent even more since the pandemic started because she noticed her students don't have supplies that they might usually have, "But on top of that, we are also going through a lot of hand sanitizers, a lot of Lysol wipes. The district provides some of that cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer, but we go through it so much, I like to have my own in my room," Ramsey said.

Rutland High School Principal Wendy Pooler says it's common for educators to buy their own supplies.

"Everybody knows that teachers come out of their pocket each and every school year during the school year," Pooler said.

Those expenses can start to pile up. 

Governor Brian Kemp's announcement will go a long way in providing teachers like Ramsey with classroom grants to cover those expenses. 

"This would be incredible. It's never happened before. We use our own money to prepare for the year, so having that money would allow me to get paper, and pencils -- we go through a lot of that during the school year," Ramsey said.

"We welcome those funds for teachers to be able to purchase items that some parents may not be able to donate to the schools. The money that he is allocating for K-12 education is welcomed and extremely needed," Pooler said.

The rest of this money will go towards the Teacher Pipeline, students' mental health needs, improving outcomes for students with dyslexia, and supporting the need for more commercial drivers, just to name a few things.

Principal Pooler says these funds will allow school systems to meet the needs of students and families and serve them in the way that they need.