HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-Alabama teachers are in line for a small pay bump next year, but not as much as some had hoped.
An across-the-board one percent pay hike for teachers appears to be in the cards for next fiscal year’s $5.9 billion education budget, which was passed by the Senate this week and now goes to the House.
The one-time bonus falls short of the two percent pay raise Gov. Robert Bentley had asked for in his State of the State address, but lawmakers said it’s the best they can do this time around due to a still relatively stagnant economy.
“The education budget is directly tied to economic growth,” said Rep. Mike Ball (R-Madison). “I think everybody in the Legislature would like to help teachers as much as they can…the budgets always have a lot of controversy and a lot of discussion about what to do with the limited resources they have.”
Lawmakers said the smaller increase is a result of tax revenues that have yet to fully recover to pre-recession levels and required loan paybacks that have left little other unobligated money.
The vast majority of the Alabama Education Trust Fund is paid for by state sales and income taxes. The budget passed by the Senate also includes an additional $10 million to hire 250 teachers for middle schools.