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WHEREAS, the Alabama State Board of Education holds seriously its duties of working with the State Superintendent and other stakeholders in developing an annual budget proposal on behalf of K-12 public schools throughout the state; and

WHEREAS, we are encouraged that there appears to be a slight improvement in Alabama’s economy, but even at best we acknowledge it leaves us with many holes to fill in an attempt to meet the needs of all 741,057.86 students in our K-12 schools; and

WHEREAS, the Alabama State Board of Education has worked to identify budget recommendations and priorities that are vitally important in sustaining increased academic achievement by Alabama students in recent years; and

WHEREAS, in the past two years systems were fortunate to have access to one-time federal funds as well as increased flexibility in using state funds; however, we can no longer mitigate the lack of adequate funding by the use of the prior-mentioned remedies to make up for a lack of state revenue:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education does adopt the following positions and offers the following observations and suggestions on the FY2013 proposed budget:

  • The FY2013 budget should be developed ensuring parity in the distribution of all state resources to all recipients. With that said, the foundation program still serves as the legal means by which to distribute state resources to all Local Education Agencies based on a per-student calculation. We strongly support a budget that distributes all ETF dollars equally between K-12, Postsecondary, and Higher Education by the same method. This means that the value of the state’s investment for a kindergartner attending Shiloh Elementary School in Dallas County is just as important as the state’s investment in a nursing student who attends the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
  • All state appropriations for the 132 local school systems as well as the Department of Education should continue to allow for flexibility of expenditures among line items in an effort to overcome shortfalls and allow for innovation to meet specific local needs.
  • The Alabama State Board of Education supports employee benefits and retirement options at rates that are shared and sustainable. These benefits should serve as an incentive to attract the best and brightest young professionals and skilled support personnel.
  • These budget proposals attempt to protect the instructional innovations that have moved Alabama students closer to being college- and career-ready in hopes that they will have a competitive edge in tomorrow’s work force.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education commits to working collaboratively with Governor Robert Bentley and the state legislature through the upcoming session with the goal of securing essential funding to meet the needs of all Alabama students.

Done this 8th day of December 2011