Teachers to get 4% raise

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 22, 2016

The Alabama Legislature upheld a 4 percent pay raise for teachers in a $6.3 billion education budget approved by both houses Thursday.

Teachers and other school employees who earn less than $75,000 per year, as well as principals and assistant principals, will get a 4 percent pay raise. All other employees will get a 2 percent raise. The raises impact community college employees, too.

Since 2007, educators have had only one cost-of-living pay raise, a two percent increase three years ago.

Rep. Mike Jones, R-Andalusia, calls it a good budget.

“I’m pleased with the budget,” he said, adding that there also is more money for operations in the budget.

“Our schools will be happy about that,” he said.

The Education Trust Fund also includes:

• Funding for 475 new teachers for grades 7 through 12.

• A $16 million increase for Pre-K programs.

Andalusia Superintendent Ted Watson said it’s the best budget educators have had in quite some time.

“I think it’s a fair budget,” he said. “It’d be tough to be a superintendent and not be happy about the budget for a change.”

The amended budget includes a $120,000 line item for the aviation program offered at the Andalusia airport by the Alabama Aviation College.