$6.6 billion Education budget funds pay raise, heads to House floor next week

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The Alabama House Ways and Means Education Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a $6.6 billion education budget on Wednesday.

The 2019 Education Trust Fund budget provides a 2.5 percent pay raises for education employees in K-12 and two year colleges, boost funding for pre-kindergarten by $20 million as well as additional programs, and fund 197 more teachers in middle school grades.

“This budget reflects high-priority for classrooms and for supporting teachers, and that’s where the money ought to be,” said Interim State Superintendent Ed Richardson during budget talks on Monday afternoon. He said it’s a “strong budget.”

Tuscaloosa-Republican and Committee chair state Rep. Bill Poole said he expects the budget to be on the House floor next Thursday.

If passed, it will go into effect Oct. 1.