Highlights of State School Superintendent's Testimony to Lawmakers

Here is a wrap up of what the State School Superintendent, Dr. Joe Morton told lawmakers on Wednesday.

Based on FY 2011 Education Budget projections given by the Legislative Budget Office on Monday, K-12 education will face a $250-270  million shortfall for FY 2011.

This follows proration for FY 2009 of 11% and for FY 2011 of 7.5%.  Public education in Alabama has experienced a decrease of $1.4 Billion in 3 years in state funding. The only way to create a budget for K-12 for FY 2011 is some combination of the following:

Level fund all employees benefits at FY 2010 levels with no state funding increases for insurance or state matching retirement and require the two boards for insurance and retirement to develop plans to fit the amount of money allocated.

  1. Increase the percentage of state funds going to K-12 and decrease the percentage going to 2 and 4 year colleges
  2. Increase class sizes by eliminating 3,543 teaching positions in K-12 (costs $230 M)
  3. Adopt a House/Senate Joint Resolution encouraging President Obama and Congress to include public education in any jobs bill to save teacher jobs

Information provided by the Alabama Department of Education.