Supers pleased by ‘Rainy day’ vote Tuesday

Published 11:43 pm Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Local school officials expressed their approval of the passage of Tuesday’s “Rainy Day” Amendment No. 1, which allows school systems to borrow additional money from the Alabama Trust Fund and reduce the effects of impending proration in the next fiscal year.

Andalusia City Schools Superintendent Dr. Beverly McAnulty said the passing of Amendment 1 is a significant step for education in Alabama.

“It is terrific news that it passed,” she said. “It will help us out getting through this year without having to take deep cuts in our budget. It doesn’t mean we will completely avoid proration, but it will lessen the damage. If we are careful, then we can enter 2010 in decent shape and not have to cut our programs.”

County residents clearly expressed their support of the proposed amendment with 64 percent, approximately 8,252, voting in favor of the measure. Voters statewide shared the same sentiment with 57 percent, or approximately 954,325, voting in favor of the amendment.

Sharon Dye, superintendent of Covington County Schools, said she was deeply appreciative of the support shown with the passage of the amendment.

“Alabamians, and especially people of Covington County. have shown their support for public education in a large vote in favor for Amendment 1,” she said. “I think the large numbers show that people in our community see the good things happening in our schools and they do not ever want to see that ever slide backwards.

“I just appreciate the support they have shown our system in this county and across the state of Alabama,” she added. “This means, with the passing of Amendment 1, we will be able to keep running programs that are most important to our students. We know that we will still have proration, but we will be spared a severe shortfall.”

Opp City Schools Superintendent Michael Smithart said that, without the passage of Amendment 1, school systems would have faced the need to cut anywhere from $250,000 to $300,000 from next year’s budget.

“There would have been no way to keep it out of the classrooms,” he said. “It would have taken away from materials we have available to our students and we could have possibly forced to look at some staffing cuts going into next year. This doesn’t fix the 2010 budget. This gets us through, but we still have some issues coming up.”

Wednesday, Gov. Bob Riley issued a statement about the passage of the amendment.

“The approval of Amendment 1 will help Alabama continue the progress we’re making in education,” he said. “It means we won’t have to halt the education reforms we have put in place that are improving the quality of education our children receive. I thank the voters for supporting Amendment 1.”