Governor proposes raise for teachers

Published 1:01 am Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Gov. Robert Bentley is proposing a 2.5 percent teacher pay raise, he announced Tuesday night in his State of the State address, which opened the 2013 session of the Alabama Legislature.

“I want our teachers and support personnel to know how much we appreciate how hard they work,” Bentley said. “That is why I am recommen-ding a two-and-a-half percent pay raise for our teachers and for our support personnel.  As our economy improves, I expect this increase to be the start of what we hope will be greater and more frequent raises for our teachers.”

Bentley, who spent much of the speech praising the state’s economic recovery and efforts to curb government expenses, also said he will also ask for increased funding for the state’s voluntary pre-K programs, which have been ranked best in the state, although the state ranks 33rd for access to such programs.

“Administered by the Office of School Readiness, local, voluntary Pre-K programs may apply for grants but will be required to meet certain criteria,” he said. “They will also be required to produce real results. We must close the achievement gap. Children and schools must be given every chance to succeed. I truly believe by allowing greater access to a voluntary Pre-K education, we will change the lives of children in Alabama. “

–Kerry Bean