Alabama State House passes budget without teacher raise - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Alabama State House passes education budget without teacher raise

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MONTGOMERY - AL -

State lawmakers beat the clock with time to spare in the final night of this year's session. The education budget passed Thursday night was the talk of the State House. It includes more money for insurance, but doesn't give teachers a raise.

The $5.9 billion education budget increases funding for employee health insurance - meaning they don't have to pay more out of pocket. It also boosts some funding for K-12 and higher education. But many lawmakers say they wanted a two percent raise for teachers.

 "I'm very disappointed with the budget that we just passed as well as with some of the things in the general fund budget," Juandalynn Givan, (D) Jefferson County said. "When are we going to get to a point that we look out for the people in the state of Alabama?"

"We should reward those people, we should take care of them, so they don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from," Merika Coleman-Evans, (D) Jefferson County said.

Representative Bill Poole of Tuscaloosa told us, there simply wasn't enough money for that raise.

"We don't want to put ourselves back in a proration position that is devastating for our schools and classrooms and our families and children," Bill Poole, (R) Tuscaloosa said. "I think this does this. We can sustain it, we can build on it, we can look at salary increases going forward. We've put a PHIP funding in place this year and I'm please with where we are."

Governor Bentley's office stated, "There are a lot of disappointed teachers in Alabama tonight." He says the pay raise is needed.

"We have asked a lot of our teachers over the last three years," Governor Bentley said. "When we came in in 2010 we were a broke state. The teachers and state employees helped us get out of that by actually taking cuts in their salary. It's time now, with the economy turning around now, it's time that we change that."

The question now is whether Governor Bentley will veto and call a special session. We asked him earlier if he would do that - he said he wouldn't comment on that just yet.

 

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