Proposed education budget funds more insurance, no pay raise - Montgomery Alabama news.

Proposed education budget funds more insurance, no pay raise

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A 2% teacher pay raise is not included in the budget proposal. (Source: MGN Online) A 2% teacher pay raise is not included in the budget proposal. (Source: MGN Online)

It's coming down to the wire for Alabama lawmakers to pass an education budget. The plan currently before lawmakers doesn't include a 2% teacher pay raise.

Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler said the legislation includes a lot of needs district leaders have asked for, but does not give them everything.

Dr. Fowler is also the president of the School Superintendents of Alabama. He said while the budget doesn't include the 2% teacher pay raise, it does give more money toward teachers' insurance coverage.

He said if he had a choice he would take the insurance coverage over the pay raise. The superintendent does have concerns over some of the spending legislators included in the Education Trust Fund and questions whether it is geared toward students and schools or something else.

"The Supreme Court Law Library is funded from the ETF, and I guess one could make the connection that does have something to do with education. The Department of Commerce gets about $65 million from the Education Trust Fund," said Dr. Fowler.

Mary Scott Hunter with the State Board of Education released a statement on Wednesday, which reads:

"Representative Bill Poole did something remarkable & very practical in this budgetary cycle.  He paid close attention to the budget request that the Alabama Board of Education sent to him on behalf of K12  and the Community College System.  The House budget reflected very well the priorities of K-12 and our Community Colleges-much better than past years.  The post conference committee agreed-upon budget is not as good as the House budget was but still represents an improvement over previous years.  We need to expect that the Governor and both Legislative Bodies will respect the budget requests sent to them from the Alabama Board of Education and not substitute their priorities for the strategic and vetted goals of the State Board of Education."

Alabama ranks 17th overall in starting teacher pay. Alabama teachers make more than $36,000 a year coming out of school. In the case of average teacher salaries, we drop considerably.

Despite good starting pay, Alabama ranks 31st overall in average teacher pay. The average Alabama teacher makes around $47,000 a year, almost $25,000 less than the top-earning state, New York.

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