Madison, Ala. (WHNT)- Dee Fowler is the Superintendent of the Madison City School System and the President of the School Superintendents of Alabama. He stopped in to WHNT News 19 to discuss the problems that the school systems are facing.
Money is a problem for every superintendent in the state of Alabama. When asked about whether the superintendents were happy with state funding, Dee Fowler claimed that, “Well obviously, we would like to have more, and I think that the first thing that we would like to have as school superintendents, we are funded through the Foundation Program of the State of Alabama, and we are just asking that the Foundation Program be fully funded. It’s state law that the transportation program would be funded at 100%. Currently, that is not the case, and there are some other programs. We want our current units. That means that for systems that will grow every year. We grow 200+ kids every year, but our teachers are based on the number of kids we had last year. So those current units help us having library enhancement money, textbook money, having technology money, those monies that are in the Foundation Program. If we could just get that fully funded we’d be very, very pleased.”
Legislators this session are talking about the fact that the Education Budget is doing quite well. There is more money than there was last year, but it is still lower than it was in 2007 because of the economy. Some Legislators are talking about using the Education Budget to cover some of the General Fund shortfall. Superintendent Dee Fowler had this to say, “That makes me frown, really it does. There is a revenue problem, and there is a revenue problem for the General Fund and perhaps the Education Trust Fund too. Combining the two budgets does not increase revenue in any way. It just divides the revenues more. At some point, we are going to have to look at revenues in the state of Alabama as we continue to grow. I was noticing yesterday in the paper the top stories were prisons, the top stories were State Troopers, or the lack there of. All of that takes revenue and so that’s a big problem in the state of Alabama.”
Watch the full three part interview here: