Georgia, Georgia (AP) — Georgias first-year teachers will need to learn how to teach after a degree, as a new law requires them to have a high school diploma.

Georgia’s Public Education Department said in a statement Monday that it was not possible to say how many of the 1,600 new teachers hired under the new law would get a high-school diploma and other credentials that would qualify them to teach in Georgia after graduating.

Under the new rules, the first-years of Georgia’s new school-based, online-based and blended-learning models will be required to have at least a high School diploma or GED.

The state’s law requires first-time teachers to have high school diplomas.

Georgia passed the law, sponsored by Republican state Rep. Mark McClellan, in December to boost teachers’ salaries.

It’s the latest move by state lawmakers to try to encourage the hiring of teachers who will be paid more and get a greater share of the state’s $11 billion education budget.

“Georgia’s public education system is in a state of crisis and it is essential to ensure that educators are compensated fairly,” McClellans office said in the statement.

“The legislation is a critical first step to fixing this crisis and ensuring that all Georgia educators have a fair shot to succeed.”