Alabama lawmakers give teachers a pay raise
Since the start of the Great Recession back in 2008, state education budgets have taken a healthy hit. From Louisiana state politicians proposing to cut more than $600 million from education to Alabama splitting close to $1 billion from the states education trust fund, students have felt the burn of the receipts.
But now that the economy seems to be back on track, legislatures are slowly coming around to restoring education funding (ETF) to pre-recession levels.
In Alabama, members of the state House of Representatives approved a budget of spending $6.3 billion from the ETF and voted to give educators a pay raise of four percent.
Within the details, the pay raise is tiered. If one earns more than $75,000 annually, he or she will receive a pay raise of two percent. Those earning less than $75,000 get a pay raise of more than four percent.
Alabama House members also included money to hire new grade school teachers, an increase in community college funding, and more funding for teachers retirement and their health insurance plan
Money flows well now that the state isn’t as broke as it used to be.
The new budget and bill for pay raises heads over to the Senate for a final vote before being shipped to Governor Robert Bentley’s desk for a signature.
Generally the Senate serves as a balance to the House, which is usually more partisan and conservative. But when it comes to education, lawmakers can find the right tenor as long as the party in the majority gets its way.
In this case, Alabama Republicans are still in charge and wanted to see an increase in education funding.
But this is good for educators of all kinds in the state. Because money hasn’t been available over the past eight years, this at least attempts to play catch-up to where teacher pay should be by now.