Tuscaloosa rep will oversee education budget

Republican Representative Bill Poole has been appointed chairman of the House Ways and Means Education Committee. The Tuscaloosa representative will replace Representative Jay Love, (R) Montgomery, who is retiring from the Legislature.

Speaker Mike Hubbard, (R) Auburn, made the announcement on Wednesday. In a statement, he said, "I'm confident that under the leadership of Rep. Poole, Alabama teachers and students will continue to get the resources needed to continue to improve education in our state."

Poole will oversee the nearly six billion dollar budget for K-12 public schools, community colleges, and universities in the state.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the people of Alabama in this capacity," he said. "Chairman Love has left big shoes to fill, but I pledge to continue to develop responsible, common-sense budgets that fulfill the needs of our students and educators and are fair to the taxpayer."

Among the challenges Poole will have to tackle is handling the cost of the Alabama Accountability Act. Lawmakers aren't sure of the actual price tag on this new law.

Poole was elected to the Legislature in 2010 and immediately appointed to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Love will resign from the Legislature August 1. That's when Poole will take over the position.