MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Senate has approved a 4% pay increase for teachers and other public school employees as part of a record $7 billion education spending plan. The bill now moves to the House.
Sen. Arthur Orr, chairman of the budget committee, said the raise was a start to trying to address a teacher shortage in the state.
The education budget, which is fueled by sales and income taxes, hit a record high after finally rebounding past pre-recession levels of 2008.
The budget provides additional money for pre-kindergarten, broadband, English language education and reducing classroom size in grades four through six.
A senator who voted no criticized charter school funding and the lack of a raise for retirees.