ATHENS, Ala.(WHNT)-Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed the state’s education budget Friday, officially ending his push to include a two percent pay raise for teachers.
Lawmakers who passed the nearly $6 billion spending plan last week said there simply wasn’t enough money to fund both a raise and a health insurance boost for teachers, with the latter item gaining approval.
Education majors at Athens State University who will soon enter the teaching profession called the news disappointing.
“I just hate that they’re not going to get that pay raise,” said Chandler Malone, a junior from Athens. “But I know what it’s like, what the pay is like. I’m in it for the kids.”
“It was pretty disappointing,” said Christen Stephens, also from Athens. “I can’t wait till I graduate and get out into the education field, and hopefully a pay raise will come with it.”
The increase in health insurance spending for teachers totals $64 million. The budget also includes slight increases for transportation and daily operational expenses at schools.