Gov. Bentley 'disappointed' in Alabama Legislature's education budget without teacher raise

Governor Robert Bentley's tweet revealing that he had signed the Alabama Education Trust Fund Budget without a pay raise for teachers.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Gov. Robert Bentley signed the Alabama Education Trust Fund Budget for the next fiscal year, and he said the Legislature prevented him from attaching an Executive Amendment that would have provided a two-percent pay for raise for teachers in the state.

A last-minute passing of the education budget on April 3 prevented Bentley from making any changes, and he said Friday in a released statement that it was clear to him "the Legislature has no intention of passing a pay raise for teachers and support personnel at this time."

While he was displeased with being able to provide a teacher pay raise, Bentley expressed gratitude for lawmakers supporting the Public Education Employees' Health Insurance Plan in the education budget, which he called "a good budget" that supports many important programs.

"I am disappointed that the Legislature decided not to provide a pay raise for our hard working teachers and support personnel," Bentley said. "I appreciate the Legislature's support to fully fund PEEHIP, so that no teacher or support personnel will have to pay out of pocket for their health insurance benefits. I appreciate their hard work and cooperation with me in that effort."

The governor went on to say he would keep an eye on incoming revenues in the coming months before deciding if he will ask legislators to support a mid-year pay raise for teachers and support personnel.

A look at what the FY 2015 Education Trust Fund Budget includes:

-- PEEHIP funding set at $780 per member per month that will not include any out-of-pocket costs for health insurance premiums for teachers or support personnel

-- $10 million increase for Pre-K funding for 100 additional classrooms and 1800 additional students to participate in the program

-- Increase of $6 million in Dual Enrollment expansion

-- Appropriates $7.7 million in Career Tech

-- Appropriates $1.2 million for Career Coaches

-- Protects funding for important programs like ARI, AMSTI and Distance Learning