Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal: State of the state 'excellent'

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal: State of the state 'excellent'

January 15th, 2014 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal speaks at the Georgia Chamber Annual Eggs & Issues Breakfast at the Georgia World Congress Center on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, in Atlanta.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

ATLANTA - Gov. Nathan Deal says he will propose a $547 million increase in state education spending, calling it the "largest single year increase in K-12 spending in seven years."

Deal delivered his annual State of the State address on Wednesday to lawmakers during a special joint session of the General Assembly on Wednesday.

Deal said state education funding will total nearly $8 billion, allowing schools to restore instructional days, eliminate furloughs and boost teacher pay.

Deal, a Republican up for re-election this year, has faced early criticism from his challengers over the state's education funding in recent years. State Sen. Jason Carter, who's running for governor, is set to deliver the Democratic response to Deal later Wednesday.

Deal will also be presenting his budget to a legislative committee later Wednesday.