Teacher pay raises could come before the Alabama Legislature again this year

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — For the last two years, teachers across Alabama have received pay raises.

The first came in 2018 with a 2.5% raise. The next year, the raise was increased to 4%. This year, additional raises could be back on the table with the Alabama Legislature returns for work in February.

However, there are no guarantees from Gov. Kay Ivey on whether or not they will come.

Her office released the following statement to CBS 42:

“To reiterate Governor Ivey, she is hopeful that we can continue rewarding and incentivizing Alabama’s teachers. She has proposed teacher pay raises the past two years because she believes in the hardworking men and women and recognizes how important they are to the future of our state. While the governor finds it to be important to reward teachers, especially those who go above and beyond, she also wants to ensure we provide them with the best resources to be successful. Recruiting and retaining strong teachers remains a top priority of her Administration, but to achieve this, it will require us to do more than an across the board salary increase. It means making substantive changes, such as Alabama voters saying yes to Amendment 1 on their ballots in March, which will provide good leadership at the top of the state’s education system. Discussions to provide additional support to teachers and finalize our education legislative priorities remain ongoing. Our approach should be more than just spending money – Governor Ivey wants progress and change that will benefit both our students and our teachers.”

For Delano Muhammad, a teacher in Montgomery, this is not the answer he and other educators across the state were hoping to hear.

“If you have more money for them, they will bring their talent. If you don’t have the funds to retain them, they will make common scenes decisions and go elsewhere,” Muhammad said.

Muhammad, who teaches ninth and 10th grade history, said he and his colleagues didn’t go into teaching for the money.

“There’s actually no money in education right now,” said Muhammad.

Muhammad said that oftentimes, teachers have to buy supplies for their classrooms and help less fortunate students.

“Because of the love for that child and the passion that they have, they are having to take money from their own families to help the students who need it as well,” he said.

At the last school board meeting, the governor said the biggest change she would like to make to education is how those school board members are selected.

“I’m on the record for supporting and urging a ‘Yes’ vote on Amendment 1 to change the governance of the board to an appointed board,” Ivey said.

Amendment 1 will be on the public ballot during the primaries on March 3.

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