Will Teacher Pay Raise Happen?

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By Ashley Thompson

The education budget passed the house yesterday without a teacher pay raise in it. It now heads to the Senate.

 

But if there is no raise, who are the winners and losers of this situation?

Democratic Chair Nancy Worley says lawmakers across party lines need to support Governor Robert Bentley in his quest to give teachers a raise.

"I know the democrats are very much in favor of a pay raise but it does appear that some republicans are not and they need to look very carefully at their constituent base because most of them did not come from wealth."

Though Senator Hank Sanders, who supports the two percent pay raise, says he doesn't it happening.

"The bill itself has been killed and you can't just say well we'll put it in the budget. You have to have a pay raise bill."

Senator Dick Brewbaker says he believes teachers deserve more money but doesn't see where that money will come from.

"That's always the problem," he says. "I mean it's an election year. We're all running for office. We would love to give everybody everything but bottom line, we just don't have the money to do a two percent pay raise, fully find PEEHIP and pay back the Alabama trust fund."

But Governor Bentley says the money is there for the two percent pay raise and Sanders agrees.

"They have money for what they want," Sanders says. "They take the money and take it out of the education budget and send it to private schools and send it to other different things."

So what happens if the raise doesn't happen? Worley says she doesn't think it will be good for the lawmakers who didn't support it.

"In case that happens and the republicans prevail, I think we'll all be working extremely hard to get rid of a lot of them."

Political analyst Steve Flowers says the Governor is making a good political move by supporting this teacher pay raise. He says democrats wont be able to criticize the governor on this issue around election time.

 



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