Alabama public schools

Tommy Bice

Alabama Department of Education Superintendent Tommy Bice says he will propose raising teacher salaries over the next three years.

Bice said yesterday his department would recommend raising teachers' salaries 5 percent in fiscal year 2017, which begins next October.

The state government will have the final word on public school spending next year. According to the department, the raise would cost $160 million.

Bice says he will seek additional raises in 2018 and 2019, with the goal of bringing teacher salaries in line with inflation.

This week is National School Choice Week. Supporters of classroom options will be joined by Civil Rights leaders for a rally in Montgomery today which more than two thousand people are expected to attend.

Marchers are demanding law makers protect and expand K-through-12 educational choices for children and familes. Sonya DiCarlo is the Director of Communications for the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund. She says children are not all the same.

Nine out of Alabama's 132 public school districts have reported parents petitioned school officials to ban certain books from classrooms and libraries.

   The Anniston Star and journalism students from the University of Alabama ( ) collected book challenge forms from the past five years from each of the state's public school district's to determine how many books were being banned.

A state board has approved the sale of $33 million in bonds to finance the purchase thousands of new buses for Alabama public schools.

The Alabama Public School and College Authority voted 2-0 Monday to approve the purchase of the bonds. Schools Superintendent Tommy Bice said state schools could buy as many as 5,743 buses with proceeds from sale of the bonds. But he said the number of new buses will likely be less because the money can also be used to pay off old transportation debt.