2 percent teacher raise replaced by 1-time bonus

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – An Alabama Senate committee has approved an education budget that tosses out the governor’s recommended 2 percent pay raise for public school employees and replaces it with a one-time bonus of 1 percent.

The Senate Finance and Taxation-Education Committee approved the budget Wednesday after its chairman, Republican Sen. Trip Pittman, said that 2 percent was unaffordable without going $92 million beyond spending limits the Legislature’s Republican majority enacted in 2011.

The $5.9 billion budget for the 2014-2015 school year would cut Alabama State University by $10 million from this year’s appropriation. The governor, who is pushing for changes at ASU, would have the authority to restore the money later.

The university’s executive vice president, Rep. John Knight, says Pittman is playing games that could hurt ASU’s accreditation and bond rating.

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