A national study says Alabama's cuts in spending for K-12 education have been deeper than nearly every other state.
The Washington-based Center for Budget and Policy Priorities says spending per pupil dropped 17.8 percent from fiscal 2008 to the current fiscal year. That is second only to Oklahoma. The study said the amount cut per student in Alabama was $1,128 between fiscal 2008 and now. That is $114 per student steeper than any other state.
Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne is pushing for changes to education in Alabama that he says will make the system work better. He says in speaking with school superintendents in the Mobile area, one thing he’s hearing a lot is that the federal government is at times making the jobs of educators' lives harder.
A report by the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says Alabama's cuts to K-12 education are the nation's second worst since the recession began.
The Washington-based group says Alabama's investment in K-12 education has declined 20 percent since 2008, when adjusted for inflation. Only Oklahoma had deeper cuts. The study was based on 2008 because it was the last year before the recession curtailed state tax collections.
The Alabama Senate worked late Tuesday night to approve an education budget and a 2 percent pay raise for K-12 employees.
The Senate voted 22-11 for a nearly $5.8 billion budget that would increase spending slightly on schools next year. Then it voted 18-16 to give teachers a 2 percent raise. Both the budget and the pay raise bill must return to the House for review on Thursday.
The raise would be the first for K-12 employees since October 2007. It would take effect when the new budget begins on Oct. 1.