Alabama House Majority Caucus

ALABAMA STATE HOUSE, MONTGOMERY, AL 36130

NATHANIAL LEDBETTER, MAJORITY LEADER

To: Alabama House Republican Caucus Members
From: Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter
Date: April 30, 2021

EDUCATION TRUST FUND BUDGET
  • For the third consecutive year, the Alabama House on Tuesday approved a record Education Trust Fund budget, which, at $7.6 billion, provides targeted funding increases in various areas of emphasis.
  • Spending in the budget for K-12 public schools, community colleges, and four-year public universities rose by about 6%, or $452 million overall.
  • The state’s Department of Early Childhood Education received a $29 million increase while the Alabama Department of Education saw its total funding balloon by roughly $56 million.
  • Alabama’s award-winning “First Class” pre-kindergarten program, which is considered by many to be a national model, received an increase of almost 20%, which translates to $24 million.
  • The Alabama Community College System saw its appropriation grow by 10% while four-year universities received a 6% boost.
  • The popular career tech program, which allows high school students to receive workforce job training while still in school, grew by almost $11 million.
  • The Advancement and Technology Fund, which can be used for specific items like technology upgrades, school security improvements, and debt reduction, increased by more than $280 million when K-12 and higher ed are combined.
  • K-12 public school teachers and community college employees will receive a 2% cost-of-living pay raise under legislation that was approved by the House, and another measure will provide middle school and high school math and science teachers as much as $10,000 to $15,000 in additional salary if they meet certain certification metrics and commit to specific employment requirements.
  • Those who accept assignments in hard-to-staff schools would be eligible for incentive pay, as well.
  • After the Senate concurred with slight House modifications, the Fiscal Year 2022 Education Trust Fund budget was sent to Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk for consideration and signature.
  • It is important to note that much of the recent success and improvement in education funding is a direct result of conservative budgeting practices and other reforms put in place when Republicans captured control of the Legislature in 2010 following 136 years of Democrat rule.
  • While other states are currently struggling to meet obligations as a result of COVID-19, Alabama’s conservative budgeting in the current fiscal year and the impressive rebound of our economy have spared us similar financial pains.
  • The Republican-passed Proration Prevention Act, often known as prior-year budgeting, has also allowed Alabama to avoid the painful and disruptive mid-year education spending cuts known as proration.
  • Under Democrat rule, proration was declared on an average of every other year, but since Republicans took control in 2010, the Education Trust Fund has never been prorated.
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