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House approves teacher pay raise

Photo: Lowndes County Sheriff's Department

Teachers and school employees could get a 2.5 percent pay raise later this year, under legislation approved Tuesday by Alabama House of Representatives.

Posted: Feb 14, 2018 9:02 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Teachers and school employees could get a 2.5 percent pay raise later this year, under legislation approved Tuesday by Alabama House of Representatives.

Representatives, who face party primaries in June, unanimously approved the proposed raise. It now moves to the Alabama Senate.

Democrats spent much of the debate arguing that teachers and education employees should get a higher raise, with several suggesting an amount of 5 percent.

Rep. Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, said educators have had to pay more out of pocket for their health insurance which offset other raises given by the state in the past. "If you lower the morale of the educator, it can't help but to impact the classroom instructional setting," Ford said.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Poole countered that any raise given this year has to be sustainable in the future. He said the state should not tap savings to give a higher raise now.

"The one thing that has not occurred in a long time is in proration. The way you avoid proration is you build a budget and you invest taxpayer dollars fiscally responsibly and in a sustainable fashion," said Poole, R-Tuscaloosa.

Education employees at both public K-12 schools and two-year postsecondary institutions would receive the proposed raise. Educators last received a cost-of-living adjustment in 2016.

The raise proposal is part of a package of spending bills moving along with the education budget.

Education funding has rebounded to prerecession levels, giving lawmakers an additional $200 million to spend in the proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The pay raise will account for about half of the new spending.

The proposed budget would also fund an expansion of the state's voluntary prekindergarten program.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154411

Reported Deaths: 3836
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10332104
Hinds10190199
Harrison7244111
Jackson6521124
Rankin5805103
Lee523695
Madison4964107
Forrest388286
Jones367788
Lauderdale3575147
Lafayette334952
Washington3241108
Lamar296650
Oktibbeha251362
Lowndes243864
Bolivar242984
Panola229653
Neshoba2241118
Marshall221250
Leflore207791
Monroe203978
Pontotoc202929
Lincoln194865
Sunflower192555
Warren178757
Tate177051
Union171026
Copiah167040
Pike164758
Yazoo158840
Scott157930
Itawamba156135
Alcorn154828
Pearl River154168
Coahoma151943
Simpson151953
Prentiss149531
Adams144451
Grenada142845
Leake139444
Holmes132361
Tippah128030
Covington127939
George126425
Winston124526
Hancock123640
Wayne120623
Marion118646
Attala117534
Tishomingo110842
Chickasaw109032
Newton108029
Tallahatchie97727
Clay93427
Clarke93053
Jasper84822
Stone80015
Calhoun78113
Walthall77229
Montgomery75825
Carroll74015
Lawrence73414
Smith72816
Noxubee72517
Yalobusha72328
Perry68126
Tunica62319
Greene61222
Claiborne58916
Jefferson Davis58817
Amite55814
Humphreys54719
Benton49918
Quitman4977
Webster46414
Kemper44718
Wilkinson40422
Jefferson36411
Franklin3535
Choctaw3507
Sharkey32317
Issaquena1204
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 249524

Reported Deaths: 3578
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson33064500
Mobile19951362
Madison13596148
Tuscaloosa13246154
Montgomery12435236
Shelby1061677
Baldwin889098
Lee781466
Morgan686150
Etowah643966
Calhoun6430121
Marshall635355
Houston537738
DeKalb492236
Cullman451542
Limestone433345
St. Clair432555
Lauderdale422354
Elmore412964
Walker3710111
Talladega359354
Jackson329823
Colbert329642
Blount299740
Autauga278042
Franklin256434
Coffee248315
Dale236254
Chilton227438
Dallas226832
Russell22383
Covington220434
Escambia198931
Tallapoosa184391
Chambers177950
Pike159914
Clarke159819
Marion143636
Winston135123
Lawrence131636
Pickens125718
Geneva12438
Marengo123124
Bibb119617
Barbour117811
Butler117842
Randolph104921
Cherokee103424
Hale97831
Fayette92516
Washington92219
Clay92024
Henry8756
Lowndes80229
Monroe79011
Cleburne77814
Macon74522
Crenshaw72030
Bullock70219
Perry6906
Lamar6898
Conecuh68814
Wilcox64218
Sumter58622
Greene42818
Choctaw42713
Coosa3544
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