ATLANTA (WSAV) — State lawmakers say funding schools, and expanding hope grants will benefit all Georgians.

State Sen. Jason Esteves (D-Atlanta) said, “How can use the HOPE scholarship to help fund workforce developments in technical schools or transitioning careers?”

With sports betting not getting traction, lawmakers say we must find ways to make college affordable. Another push is to fund technical colleges to keep up with new companies moving to Georgia. 

Esteves continued, “We want to make sure our K-12 is tied to agriculture, technology”

Lawmakers say that in this session, one thing that’s come up is funding workforce in multiple areas including schools, nursing, law enforcement and hospitality given the slew of workers leaving or transitioning industries – and say it all starts with education.

“Education is the escalator to upward mobility,” said State Rep. Billy Mitchell (D-Dekalb County). “You show me a community that has high crime, unhealthy and that’s a community that does not meet up to a highly educated community. A community is well educated has better economic opportunities and even property values are higher.”

State Rep. Jodi Lott (R-Augusta) explained, “Some of the focus is education like public safety, school safety, mental health in schools and counselors in school.”

Besides the $7,000 teacher pay, there’s a push to increase teacher pay to keep them from leaving the state.