Alabama teachers pay raise

Lloyd Gallman / Montgomery Advertiser

In the last few years the state has had to tighten its belt to rein in spending during some lean budget years. Alabama’s teachers have had to shoulder some of that burden with pay cuts and increased contributions to their pensions. Teachers received a two percent pay raise last year, their first since 2007. More raises were expected this year to help bring teacher pay back to pre-recession levels. Governor Robert Bentley took up the cause during his State of the State address...

State of Alabama

  Gov. Robert Bentley won't make a quick decision on whether to sign the state's Education Trust Fund budget or force lawmakers back into a special session over the issue of a raise for education employees.

Bentley spokeswoman Jennifer Ardis said Friday that there is no timeframe on when he will make a decision.

Bentley has until April 13 to sign the budget into law or it will die through a pocket veto.


Gov. Robert Bentley says he still hopes to get a 2 percent pay raise approved for public school employees.

Bentley said Monday that he's glad that he and legislative leaders agreed to increase funding for the education employees' health insurance program, and he says that should keep them from having to pay higher costs. But Bentley says he wants the Legislature to do more with three meeting days left in the legislative session.

Gov. Robert Bentley may have no way to give education employees the 2 percent pay raise he has recommended.

Bentley recommended a 2 percent raise at the start of the legislative session. The Senate reduced Bentley's pay raise bill to a one-time bonus of 1 percent. That bill stalled in the House budget committee Wednesday. Bentley said Thursday he needs a pay raise bill of some type to amend the amount to 2 percent. He said he can't enact a raise by adding language to the state education budget.

A House committee has approved an education budget aimed at giving teachers more money for their health insurance instead of a raise or bonus.

The House Ways and Means - Education Committee voted 10-4 for the budget Wednesday morning.

The spending plan strips away a one-time 1 percent bonus for public education employees approved by the Alabama Senate.

  Alabama teachers could be in line for another pay raise when the state legislature meets next year, but non-education state employees should not get their hopes up.

Gov. Robert Bentley says he plans to propose an increase for education employees. But he says the state General Fund is too anemic to do the same for non-education employees.

Bentley says he has not decided how much of a raise he will recommend for teachers.

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.

Alabama State House
Jay Williams / Flickr

Plans to address the education budget Thursday in the state Senate got postponed.

Senate Rules Committee Chairman Jabo Waggoner of Vestavia Hills says the budget was being delayed until next week because of disagreements over a pay raise for K-12 employees and other issues.

Senate budget committee Chairman Trip Pittman of Daphne favors a 1 percent raise with the possibility of a 1 percent bonus. The House approved a 2 percent raise. Pittman says he may come around to the House's view if he sees the raise is sustainable in future years.

The Alabama House has adopted a $5.7 billion budget that gives teachers and other education employees their first pay raise since 2008.

The spending plan gives public school employees a 2 percent raise. That's less than the 5 percent increase supported by Democratic lawmakers.

The budget was adopted late Wednesday after more than six hours of debate on the spending plan and a separate pay raise bill.

House members voted 62-37 against a proposed amendment by Democratic Rep. Richard Lindsey of Centre to increase the raise to 5 percent.