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.