Georgia has money to spare this year, and Gov. Brian Kemp (R) plans to direct much of it toward education, the governor said during his State of the State address on Thursday.
Kemp laid out a host of education-related priorities at the beginning of his speech, including completing the second half of his 2018 campaign promise for $5,000 teacher pay increases, fully reversing education budget cuts that were made in response to coronavirus, and passing a “parental bill of rights.”
Evoking both Psalm 16:8 of the Bible and famed high school football coach Billy Henderson, the Georgia Republican credited the state’s resiliency amid “divisive politics, the pandemic, and unforeseen challenges” for the state’s now strong economic position.
“Our state has celebrated unprecedented success,” Kemp said.
“By keeping our state open for business, bringing record levels of jobs and investment, and fighting to put hardworking Georgians first,” he continued, “we now have the opportunity to build a safer, stronger Georgia for all who call the Peach State home.”
We’re about to head upstairs for my #SOTS2022 address.
First things first – GO DAWGS!! pic.twitter.com/Lo8DpXDamh
— Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) January 13, 2022
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp arrives for the State of the State on January 13, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
The state ended fiscal year 2021 with a $3.7 billion budget surplus, which an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis found was due largely to revenue growth from state income, sales, and corporate income taxes, as well as federal coronavirus relief.
Kemp said of his plans to pour some of the extra funds into schools, “The need for a world-class K–12 education to prepare our children for an everchanging workforce has never been greater.”
The governor said he plans to use $425 million to properly fund education in his budget proposal for fiscal year 2023, which begins July 1, noting the funds are intended to go “directly to schools in every corner of Georgia to hire more teachers, reduce class sizes, and ensure every child receives a quality education.”
Kemp also vowed to sign a parental bill of rights this year once the legislation makes its way through the General Assembly.
The initiative to focus on parents’ role in the education system has gained traction nationwide, including at the federal level, where Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced a bill that would move education policy issues — like the contents of curriculums and the level of access to school information — closer into the hands of parents.
“From the classroom to the ball field, there are those who want to divide our kids along political lines, push partisan agendas, and indoctrinate students from all walks of life,” Kemp said. “This is wrong. It’s dangerous, and as long as I’m governor, it will not take root in Georgia.”
The governor also said that education-related legislation Georgia plans to pass this year will serve to prohibit “divisive ideologies, like critical race theory, that pit kids against each other,” “ensure fairness in school sports,” and “address obscene materials online and in our school libraries.”
Read the full address here.
Hollywood Producer Ryan Kavanaugh Fleeing L.A. over Crime, Homelessness, High Taxes: ‘It’s Not the Pandemic, It’s Policy’
Hollywood producer Ryan Kavanaugh is fleeing Los Angeles, California, amid rising crime, homelessness, and higher taxes. Flight from the Democrat-run city is trending as “a growing chorus of Hollywood executives are talking about leaving the city,” one entertainment industry insider told The Wrap.
Ryan Kavanaugh, American film financier and founder and CEO of the video-sharing app Triller — who grew up in Los Angeles and has called it home for 47 years — is now getting ready to pick up and move his family and business headquarters to Florida.
Kavanaugh — who’s backed over 200 films, including Limitless, Hancock, Mamma Mia!, and The Social Network — told TheWrap that the main reason why he’s looking to flee L.A. is due to the city’s rising crime, homelessness, and California’s anti-business policies.
“I grew up here, I grew up in Brentwood, and I was allowed to be on the streets,” he said. “I would never let my kids walk (alone) in Brentwood — how many times do you have to be out in Los Angeles and see feces in the streets before you just don’t want to be here anymore?”
A LAPD police officer stands at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Sunset Boulevard where a body covered in a white sheet lies on the pavement in Los Angeles. (VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
Kavanaugh added that he doesn’t blame the Chinese coronavirus pandemic for what he sees transpiring throughout L.A., bur rather, city and state government regulations that he says have made it more difficult to prosecute criminals, and local leaders who have failed to address a homelessness crisis.
“It’s not the pandemic, it’s policy,” he said.
Moreover, the murder of Jacqueline Avant — wife of famed music executive Clarence Avant and mother-in-law of Netflix’s Ted Sarandos — who was killed by an intruder in her Beverly Hills home last month, is contributing to a feeling of insecurity as crime hits closer to home for the elite, experts told The Wrap.
“A new tipping point emerged late last year with the murder of philanthropist Jacqueline Avant in her Beverly Hills home,” Gene Del Vecchio, adjunct professor of marketing at USC’s Marshall School of Business, said.
“It so shocked the protected community that even the liberal Beverly Hills city council voted to recall the liberal Los Angeles district attorney George Gascón,” Del Vecchio added. “When crime hits home, it becomes personal, and people act by either fighting, as with the Gascón recall, or by leaving.”
And Kavanaugh is not the only one among Hollywood’s wealthy residents who have recently decided to leave the city.
Veteran network TV executive Ted Harbert — most recently chairman of NBC Broadcasting — not only fled Los Angeles, but the United States altogether, telling The Wrap that he has moved to Portugal, where he is building a house because, “#americatoocrazy.”
UFC commentator and podcaster Joe Rogan also moved from California to Texas last year.
California has seen a surge in homicides in recent years as the state continues to buckle under high crime that has been allowed to fester under Democrat rule. In 2020, the state saw 2,202 homicides, up a colossal 31 percent from 2019, making it the deadliest year in the state since 2007, according to the California Department of Justice.
EXCLUSIVE: Syrian, Russian Migrants Apprehended at West Texas Border
EAGLE PASS, Texas — Border Patrol agents arrested two significant interest aliens at one of the busiest migrant crossing points on the southwest border Wednesday, along with hundreds of mostly Central and South American family units.
According to a source within Customs and Border Protection, the Syrian and Russian migrants are single adult males and their purpose for entering is still under investigation. The source says the Syrian adds to the nearly 50 special interest aliens apprehended in the area since October 2021.
Although not a country on the Department of Homeland Security’s list of special interest countries, Russia is designated as a Country of Particular Concern by the Department of State. Under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, the President is required to annually review the status of religious freedom in every country and designate those engaged in or tolerating “particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”
The law defines particularly severe violations as “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom,” including violations such as: torture, prolonged detention without charges, forced disappearance, or other flagrant denial of life, liberty, or security of persons.
Russia was designated by the State Department in November 2021. The source says the increase in apprehension of Special Interest Aliens (SIA) and those from CPC countries is cause for concern. The intent of such migrants, according to the source, is more difficult to determine than those who enter for mostly economic reasons.
The designation of SIA is related to the travel pattern and conditions within the home country, rather than specific threats. According to DHS, the designation of SIA is different than the designation of an individual migrant known or suspected of terrorism. The terms “Special Interest Alien” and “Known or Suspected Terrorist” (KST) are not interchangeable.
This fiscal year, the source says migrants from Eritrea, Uzbekistan, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Syria, and Russia have been encountered crossing the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass. The source says the migrants within this grouping usually attempt to elude apprehension as the Border Patrol contends with processing, transportation, and caring for nearly a thousand migrants who chose to surrender daily within the sector.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, the Del Rio Sector has led the eight other southwest sectors in migrant apprehensions in January.
Until recently, the Rio Grande Valley Sector held the top position in migrant apprehensions since 2013.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.
Poll: Just 33.7 Percent of Georgians Approve of Joe Biden
Just 33.7 percent of Georgians approved of Joe Biden, a Thursday Atlanta Journal-Constitution/University poll revealed.
As 33.7 percent approved and 61.5 percent disapproved of Biden, in May, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll showed Biden with a 51 percent approval rating among Georgians, a 17.3 drop in eight months.
In 2020, Biden won the state of Georgia by less than one percent or 12,670 votes.
Broken down demographically, only 28 percent of men approved of Biden, and 66 percent disapproved. Among women, 38 percent approved, while 58 percent disapproved.
(AJC – Georgia) Do you approve/disapprove of Biden?
18-29 yrs old: 36/56
65+ yrs old: 40/57
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) January 27, 2022
Black individuals also gave Biden poor marks.
Just 59 percent approved of Biden and 36 percent disapproved. Only eight percent of black voters in May disapproved of Biden, a 28 point increase. Historically, Democrat presidents after Lyndon Johnson have polled significantly better.
Among independents, 33 percent approved of Biden. Sixty percent disapproved.
Georgians’ opinion of Biden is similar to nationwide polling. In mid-January, Biden’s overall approval rating was pegged at 33 percent, while 53 percent disapproved.
President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd at the Atlanta University Center Consortium, part of both Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University on January 11, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Megan Varner/Getty Images)
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution/University poll, a majority of Georgians also believe Biden’s 40 year high inflation and sagging economy are issues resulting from “government policies and won’t change until we change the political leadership.”
Biden’s term ends in 2024 and has stated he intends to campaign for reelection.
The polling for Biden comes as radical activist and failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams did not attend Biden’s visit to Georgia in January due to a “scheduling mix up.”
According to a new AJC poll, only 33.7% of Georgians approve of Biden while 61.5% disapprove.
No wonder Stacey Abrams had a “scheduling mix up” when Biden went to Atlanta.
— Tommy Pigott (@TommyPigott) January 27, 2022
When Biden was asked if he was insulted by Abrams’ absence, Biden told reporters he was “insulted that you asked the question.”
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