Alabama Is Pouring Billions More Into Public Schools

In a record-breaking move, Alabama lawmakers look to pour billions of dollars into public schools with Alabama teachers' full support.

By Erika Hanson | Published

National Teacher Unions Have Lost 200,000 Members

alabama teachers

As many states across the nation struggle with accumulating enough funds to cover basic education expenses, one state is hopeful to approve a record multi-billion dollar investment into their education department. Alabama’s budget proposal aims to shift more funds back into public school classrooms. Moreover, Alabama teachers across the board highly approve of the proposed budget increases that if approved, would be record-breaking for the southern state.

The monumental education budget proposal from Alabama lawmakers seeks to place an $8.1 billion investment into the education of the state. While the proposed budget is $125 million less than Democratic Governor Kay Ivey originally proposed to lawmakers, the figure is still significant within the state. As one of the state’s largest proposed educational budgets ever, the allotted funds are intended to increase Alabama teachers’ wages, add more teacher’s aids in classrooms, add reading coaches and technology coordinators into the public school system, and plenty more.

Gaining support from Alabama teachers and education officials throughout the southern state, the proposed budget package will next head to the floor of the House for voting. Alabama’s State Superintendent, Eric Mackey said he is very happy with the committee’s proposal as he said it was a “strong budget” that looked to place more funds into classrooms. According to reports,  K-12 public schools would receive  $5.6 billion- a $300 million increase from the current years’ allocation of $5.3 billion. Higher education, or colleges and universities, would be allotted $2.1 billion, compared to this year’s budget of $2 billion.

The education budget proposed would likewise shell out a hefty $20 million towards the Numeracy Act bill that recently passed through the Senate committee. This bill is intended to boost math skills throughout Alabama’s school districts. And, as Alabama, along with nearly every other state, felt crippling setbacks in student reading levels following the pandemic, the budget sets aside a hefty investment in reading initiatives via a $14 million literacy increase, from $80 million to $94 million. As for Alabama teachers’ wages, the package would increase teacher salaries by four percent with a bonus incentive for tenured educators. 

alabama teachers

The astoundingly high budget is one of the highest ever proposed for Alabama’s education department. However, it’s leaving many people wondering how the state was able to afford such a large sum. According to state Representative Danny Garret, federal infusion mixed with increased revenue from income taxes helped carve out this hefty budget package. As Garret declared the state was “sitting on a mountain of cash”, Alabama did in fact receive more than $50 billion in federal aid throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Peculiarly, Alabama teachers’ classroom instructional support material budgets and textbook funding look to remain the same within the proposed budget. However, school transportation funding would see a much-needed increase from $380 million to $406 million. Hopefully, plenty of the increased funds would look to alleviate Alabama’s ongoing battle to staff bus drivers throughout the state. With support from almost every outlet within the state, the proposed education budget will soon go to the House floor for more discussion and voting.