Alabama Legislature Adjourns
On May 4, 2016, the Alabama Legislature adjourned the 2016 regular session Sine Die. Legislators in April approved a 2016-17 Education Trust Fund budget, which funds all levels of education and other programs, totaling $6.3 billion, up 6.5 percent over 2015-16.
Foundation program funding to K-12 schools totals $4 billion, up 5 percent. This includes funding for a 4 percent raise to all teachers, principals and school employees who earn $75,000 or less annually; employees who earn more than $75,000 receive a 2 percent raise. Community college funding is up 5.6 percent to $362.2 million, while funding to universities is up 3 percent to nearly $1.1 billion.
Legislators approved in March a 2016-17 state general fund budget, which funds state operations, excluding education, totaling $1.8 billion, up 5.2 percent.
Education-related legislation approved during the 2016 session includes:
House Bill 41: Phases in the Alabama Ahead Act to provide digital materials to K-12 students
House Bill 168: Extends the date by which a child must reach six years of age to enroll in first grade
House Bill 218: Requires cursive instruction by the end of the third grade
Senate Bill 11: Requires annual suicide prevention and awareness training for certified school personnel
Senate Bill 90: Provides tax credits for employers who employ apprentices
Senate Bill 215: Authorizes automatic enforcement of school bus violations.
More information on final actions in Alabama and other SREB states will appear in upcoming editions of Legislative Report.