Superintendent Burroughs reacts to Education Trust Fund
Published 10:53 am Monday, April 5, 2021
The Alabama Senate recently passed a historic $7.67 billion education trust fund budget for the 2022 fiscal year, the largest education budget in state history.
Sponsored by Senator Arthur Orr, the budget passed favorably out of the Senate Committee on Finance and Taxation Education with a 12-0 vote.
The education budget addresses several important priorities such as:
- Providing funding for Governor Kay Ivey’s recommended 2% across the board pay raise for public education employees, including teachers, support staff, and transportation workers
- Funding the school nurse program to ensure there is a nurse in every school system
- Confronts the significant shortage of credentialed math and science teachers across the state by creating a new salary matrix to recruit these essential educators
- Supplies funding for step raises – at least 2% – for all teachers
When asked for his thought regarding the budget, Lowndes County Superintendent Jason Burroughs said that although all items on the budget are helpful, they could be improved.
“I think that the pay raise should be more substantial than two percent,” Burroughs explained. “Obviously this budget needs to be passed in the house before it becomes official, but it would be great if they were to increase the pay raise before then. Our teachers were forced to suddenly learn a new format of teaching and it took a toll on them. I think they deserve it after all their hard work.”
Although unhappy with the pay raise percentage, Burroughs says that he is happy that the budget focused on the importance of the nursing program.
“We currently have 3 nurses for the schools in our county. However, we currently only have enough funds for half of them and we are in need of five nurses. I think it’s great that the budget addresses this issue, not only for us but for all the schools in the state of Alabama.”
Superintendent Burroughs also stated that he is impressed with the bonuses for science and math teachers the budget would allow.
“Science and math are the hardest areas for us to recruit teachers for. So with these bonuses, it would allow us to better aid us in recruitment and retention of those teachers.”