State Superintendent talks proration and budget

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Montgomery, AL (WSFA) – State school leaders are holding their breath and hoping their budget gets passed by the Legislature.

According to the State's School Superintendent, more than 3500 jobs are on the line.

Dr. Joe Morton calls his request for the state's schools "crucial".

Morton says, "This is a real tough time for schools; this recession has hit them very hard."

The proof is in how school districts are struggling to stay afloat.

Dr. Morton says out of the state's 132 districts, close to 60 school systems are surviving on bank loans.

He said, "When proration hit, the state said we told you we were going to give you 'x' but instead we're going to give you 'y', because we don't have what we said we would.  They need to pick up the slack."

With that money dwindling, the state is counting on its new budget to pull them through.

Morton is requesting an extra $235 million dollars over this year's budgeted spending.

He's says a possible consequence of not getting the money is a loss of more than 3500 teaching jobs.

Morton said, "I've talked to Governor about it.  I think he's receptive to it, but the Governor can't print money."

Morton says sales tax revenues will tell the tale and determine just what's ahead for the state—and just how much money Alabama's school will get.

The Governor cut education spending 7.5 percent this year.

There are more than 43,000 state funded teachers in Alabama's public schools.

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