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Alabama House passes record-breaking $9.3 billion education trust fund budget

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The Alabama House of Representatives voted Tuesday to pass a historic education trust fund (ETF) budget.

According to the Office of House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter, this year’s appropriation, $9,348,506,169, is the largest ever and marks the sixth consecutive record-breaking ETF.

“I’m proud that the House has advanced a record-breaking Education Trust Fund Budget for the sixth straight year,” said House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter. “At over $this historic appropriation meets critical needs in our K-12 system, fully funds the Literacy and Numeracy Acts and provides a well-deserved pay increase for teachers. Additionally, we are funding reading coaches, career coaches, and mental health coordinators in every school system. By investing in our students’ education today, we are ensuring a brighter Alabama of tomorrow.”

“As ETF Chairman, my top priority is providing Alabama’s K-12 system with the necessary tools to succeed while also remaining conscious of the state’s future needs,” said Education Budget Chairman Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville). “I’m proud that our conservative approach has paved the way for another historic investment into public education while also preparing for the difficult economic times ahead.”

The Alabama Superintendent of Education, Dr. Eric Mackey, said the Education Trust Fund budget is in a good place. This is the first time funding for K-12 public schools has surpassed $6 billion.

“That money is being invested in teachers. New pay raises for teachers and support folks across the board. We are getting lots more money for school buses. The price of buses keeps going up. We are getting money for our summer reading and math camps that have been noted across the country, but we have been paying for those with federal funds. I’m glad to see our legislature step up and fully fund those programs,” said Mackey.

A two-percent pay raise for all education employees makes Alabama’s first-time teacher pay the highest compared to surrounding states, according to Mackey.

“It is a really good opportunity for us to bring people in as they are coming out of college. Even people from neighboring states, to say ‘Hey, you’ll make more money in Alabama than neighboring states.’ In the last few years, we’ve also made some changes to the upper end. Teachers here can certainly make much better salaries across their lifetime than 30-something years ago when I first started. I think that’s right,” said Mackey.

There is also funding for professional development for school administrators and teachers.

Along with passing the ETF budget, a supplemental appropriations bill of $615 million and a $1 billion Advancement and Technology Fund bill were passed.

The bills now go to a Senate committee.



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