State Board of Education sets goals and priorities for upcoming years

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School bus (file image)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -The state board of education has long dealt with a tight budget. This fiscal year, members are taking a new approach to how they plan their finances and education goals.

State leaders in education said the state needs to set its sights long term.

“That has been missing a lot in Alabama politics, not just in education but in a lot of our decision making throughout the years,” said Alabama StateĀ Board member Mary Scott Hunter.

For the first time, the State Board of Education will not send the governor a one-year budget. Instead, a three-year budget will be sent.

The budget will set education and financing milestones for the next three years.

“Education doesn’t change overnight, but gradually we can make changes and we should be looking at making changes and reforms that work but it takes time, and commitment and longer than just one year,” Hunter said.

Hunter also said priorities include getting more highly qualified teachers into the schools.

“Student to teacher ratios needs to remain a number that’s manageable and that’s optimal for education and learning,” she said.

The budget also focuses on improving libraries and technology offerings, as well as operations and maintenance.

“That includes busing, and in Alabama, with large rural areas, we have to think about busing and how we get students to school,” Hunter said.

It’s a hard problem to solve, but according to Hunter, having a long-term outlook may bring about the solutions they need.

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