County, city officials praise passing of budget

Published 1:17 pm Monday, May 4, 2009

By By Lisa Tindell
news editor

Educators across Alabama may be able to relax a little after hearing the news that Alabama’s legislators have finalized their work on the education budget for next year.
The Senate voted to approve the budget in a 30-0 vote Thursday after the House made minor changes.
The $6.2 billion budget uses federal stimulus funds that will allow school systems to retain employees even though some programs may experience cuts in the coming school year.
Rep. Alan Baker (Rep.) said he is happy about the budget being on its way to the governor.
Baker said the education budget was the biggest item on the legislative agenda this session, and is appreciate the budget has passed.
Brewton City Schools Assistant Superintendent Baxter Baker said the timeliness of the budget being approved the senate is good news.
Baker said he was aware there were some changes made in the budget before it was sent to the Senate, but was not sure what the changes entailed.
Escambia County School Assistant Superintendent Randall Little said the passing of the budget is certainly welcome news for the system.
Little said the budget will help the system to retain teachers, which is a top priority.
The budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 includes $513 million in federal stimulus funds. The current year’s budget of $5.8 billion will see a 7 percent increase if this new budget passes. This year’s budget was originally set at $6.3 billion, but was cut by 9 percent by Gov. Bob Riley due to a decline in state tax collections.
The budget now goes to Riley’s office for final approval. Riley can sign the budget into law or send it back to the Legislature for further revisions.