Ala. House passes $5.58 billion education budget - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Ala. House passes $5.58 billion education budget

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama House has approved an austere $5.58 billion education budget that continues funding for programs to improve student performance in reading and math and science.

The House approved the spending plan on a 64-36 vote after spending more than 11 hours debating the budget and related bills. The education budget now goes to the Senate.

Much of that time was spent debating a bill that would increase how much teachers and state employees pay toward retirement. The House voted 54-41 for the bill that would raise the employees' contribution to their retirement funds and cost teachers about $1,000 a year.

The education budget would reduce the number of teachers in the state by 1,125. But state schools Superintendent Joe Morton has said layoffs would most likely not be needed.

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