- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Lawmakers on Wednesday inched closer to giving teachers and education employees their first true pay increase in several years.

The Alabama Senate on Wednesday voted 30-0 for the raise legislation.

Senators also voted 32-1 for the $6.3 billion education trust fund budget. The bills now move to the Alabama House of Representatives where lawmakers will decide whether to accept Senate changes or send the two bills to conference committee.

Teachers and education employees making less than $75,000 annually would get a 4 percent raise. School principals and assistant principals would also get a 4 percent raise. Education employees making more than $75,000 would get a 2 percent raise.

“They have not received a true pay raise since 2008. Here we are looking at the 2017 budget. In education and most businesses, you have to attract good people, and the way to attract good people is how you compensate them. We need to compensate people in education accordingly to get the best that we can,” said Sen. Arthur Orr, chairman of the Senate education budget committee.

Lawmakers in 2013 approved a 2 percent pay raise for teachers, but that was offset by increases in benefit costs.

Orr said he expects that the House of Representatives will send the education budget to a conference committee as lawmakers try to work out minor differences between the House and Senate plans.

The $6.3 billion education is the largest since 2008.


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