On Thursday, the Alabama State Senate passed an $8.26 billion budget for the Education Trust Fund, the largest in state history.
Senate Finance and Tax Education Committee Chairman Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) sponsored the budget.
The budget addresses the recruitment and retention of educators in Alabama.
“The budget passed today in the Senate provides substantial funding that will allow us to address several critical education needs across the state, most notable among them being the desperate need to attract and retain educators,” Orr said. “I strongly believe that you get what you pay for, and if we are to be serious about our ability to attract and retain educators, we need to make a substantial investment to support these people.”
Orr says the investment is aimed at making Alabama a competitor in recruiting educators.
“This ETF budget helps make these critical investments and enables Alabama to be competitive with neighboring states in the recruiting process, as well as grow and develop in other areas to help improve education in general,” Orr said. “I am thrilled with the Senate’s passage of this landmark education budget, and I applaud Ways and Means Education President Danny Garrett for his work on this effort in the House of Representatives.”
The budget includes a 1% annual raise for all educators and salary increases and minimum wages for experienced educators.
It expands dual enrollment with the Alabama Community College system.
It expands vocational and technical training programs.
It allocates funds to initiate the Numeracy Act.
It fully funds the Stabilization Fund of the Education Trust Fund. It repays outstanding loans.
The budget now passes to the House of Representatives.