By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY-Late Tuesday night the State of Alabama Senate passed the state’s education operating budget.
According to the Senate Republicans, the education budget included funding of $300 in supplies for every grades K-12 classroom for supplies. The Senate also included a $5,000 salary supplement for teachers that are certified by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R) from Anniston said, “Senator Pittman and the education budget committee deserve a great deal of credit for making sensible choices on how to prioritize education spending. The state simply cannot spend more than it takes in and tough choices undoubtedly had to be made, but this budget makes the most out of the resources we have available.”
Senator Trip Pittman (R) from Fairhope said, “This budget protects funding for K-12 education and fully funds some of the state’s proven education reform programs like the Alabama Reading Initiative, the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative, and ACCESS Distance Learning program.”
Senator Pittman said, “Thanks to legislation passed by Senators Jabo Waggoner (R from Vestavia) and Greg Reed (R from Jasper) we ensured funding for salary supplements to national board certified teachers and have committed $300 to every Alabama classroom for supplies. These measures help reiterate our gratitude to teachers, administrators and support personnel for their commitment to providing our children with a quality education.”
State Senator Jabo Waggoner said, “The Caucus has made education a top priority this legislative session. This bill is a big part of that. We want to encourage teachers in Alabama to seek to better themselves.” “An investment in our teachers is an investment in each and every Alabama student.”
The Senate’s FY2013 Alabama Education Trust Fund budget proposal now goes to the Alabama House of Representatives for their consideration.
At issue is $200 million in anticipated revenues that the education budget has budgeted to replenish its exhausted trust fund. The Republicans in the legislature want to save that rolling reserve money for the next unexpected economic downturn. Today, in a press conference Governor Robert Bentley demanded that all of that money be taken from the Education Trust Fund and handed over to fund chronic shortfalls at Alabama Medicaid.
Senator Trip Pittman has served in the Senate since October 2007 when then Senator Bradley Byrne (R) resigned to take a job for Governor Riley (R) running the state’s troubled two year college system.