Alabama Senate approves education budget

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Senate has worked late to approve an education budget that would spend slightly more on schools next year, expand Alabama’s pre-kindergarten program, and fund a 2 percent raise for K-12 employees.

The Senate passed the budget 22-11 Tuesday night, with support coming from Republicans and opposition from Democrats who wanted a bigger raise.

The budget is based on K-12 employees getting a 2 percent raise, which would be their first since October 2007. The Senate still must pass a separate bill to make the raise official.

The nearly $5.8 billion budget would provide a 3.6 percent increase in spending after several years of recession-riddled budgets, and it would provide an extra $9.4 million to expand Alabama’s voluntary pre-K program for 4-year-olds.

The budget now goes back to the House.

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