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Some teachers to be re-hired

There is good news ahead for some of the teachers in Alabama whose contracts were not renewed because of proration and budget cuts. Last week, Gov. Bob Riley signed the Senate Bill 0001, the Eduation Trust Fund Appropriations Act, which will ensure that all Alabama schools must have in place for the next school year the same number of state-funded treachers they had last year.

The act states: "In order to prevent deterioration in the quality of classroom instruction in the K-12 education system, local school systems shall employ the same number of state-funded personnel in the fiscal year 2004 as in the fiscal year 2003 …"

The exception is in cases where the enrollment has dropped, lowering the number of teachers needed.

"We're still going to lose two-and-a-half taecher units because of enrollment, so those units will not be back," said Pete Kelley, superintendent of Andalusia City Schools.

Exactly how many - and which -- teacher units will be restored is still under discussion, and the city's Board of Education will be meeting next Wednesday night to work on the issue.

"At that time, we are going to make recommendations on state funded units that we will be bringing back," said Kelley. "Plus, we've got to balance our budget for next year with local funds. We've got to be careful; because we are not going to have a budget until late September."

The act states that those who do not fully replace the state-funded units will have their funding reduced.

The act was sponsored by Senator Wendell Mitchell and others, including State Sen. Jimmy Holley.