Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a 2 percent salary increase for public school teachers and Alabama state employees, fulfilling a promise to increase the pay for education employees.
The teacher salary increase, Senate Bill 188, sponsored by state Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, passed the Alabama Statehouse April 27 with near-unanimous support. House Bill 320, the general state employee salary increase, sponsored by state Rep. Kelvin Lawrence, D-Hayneville, passed two days later.
During the governor’s State of the State address Feb. 2, Ivey proposed a 2 percent pay increase for the state’s K-12 and higher education employees “as a way to express our state’s gratitude to our teachers who rose to the challenge during an unprecedented time for our state,” Ivey said during the address.
Ivey also commended state employees for their efforts in maintaining functions of government during a pandemic.
“If this pandemic has taught us anything, it reinforced what we already knew – teachers are vital to our student’s learning, and our state employees keep government services operational for the people of Alabama,” Ivey said in a statement Tuesday. “I am proud to sign this well-deserved pay increase to our educators and state workers. I commend Education Trust Fund chairmen Sen. Arthur Orr and Rep. Bill Poole, General Fund chairmen Sen. Greg Albritton and Rep. Steve Clouse, along with the entire Alabama Legislature for their hard work and for approving this raise. It is both fiscally wise and simply the right thing to do after a hard year.”
In the statement, Ivey stressed that as summer approaches, support for teachers and staff must continue as the pandemic eases.
“We need to do everything we can to support our teachers and educational support staff to ensure that we can fully return to classrooms in the fall,” Ivey said. “Alabama schools have shown the rest of the nation that it is possible to be safely back in the classroom, while carrying on the important work of providing Alabama’s children a chance for a promising future. I look forward to continually offering my support to ensure that Alabama students remain on track and moving ahead.”
The salary increases will begin during the next fiscal year, starting Oct. 1, 2021.