Alabama Senate Passes Education Budget with Bonus

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Montgomery, Ala.

The Alabama Senate has approved an education budget that would fund a one-time bonus of 1 percent for public school employees and add 250 teachers in middle schools.

The $5.9 billion budget cleared the Senate 21-10 Thursday and now goes to the House.

Gov. Robert Bentley recommended a 2 percent cost-of-living raise for public school employees.

Budget committee chairman, Trip Pittman, says that's not affordable. Bentley says it is, and he's hopeful it will be restored before the budget reaches his desk.

The budget approved by the Senate cuts funding for Alabama State University by about $10 million, but the governor could restore the money later.

Pittman says that's to help ASU's new president, Gwendolyn Boyd, achieve changes. But Boyd calls it an attack on students, faculty and staff.