Alabama Senate approves education budget

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The Alabama Senate has approved a nearly $6 billion education budget that includes more money for prekindergarten and additional middle school teachers.

Senators unanimously approved the budget Tuesday. It now moves to the House of Representatives.

The budget does not include raises for teachers. Budget chairman Sen. Trip Pittman of Montrose says lawmakers are trying to build up reserves so benefits and other programs can be sustained.

An additional $13.5 million for prekindergarten is expected to bring 2,600 more children into the state’s voluntary K-4 program.

The education spending plan also does not include a fiscal lifeline that some wanted to throw to the state’s other budget, the perpetually ailing General Fund. Without the influx of funds, cuts to General Fund agencies could rise from 11 percent to 15 percent.

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