WHEREAS, the state of Alabama, the United States of America, and the nations around the world are experiencing a global recession; and
WHEREAS, tax dollars to fund public education from the state level are in decline and since FY 2008 have decreased by $1,400,000,000 and education in Alabama experienced 11% proration of funds in FY 2009 and is experiencing 7.5% proration in FY 2010; and
WHEREAS, Alabama's public schools in Grades K-12 are underfunded and have no ready and available revenue source to tap into in order to stave off further cuts to classroom instruction; and
WHEREAS, since its inception, the Public Education Employees' Health Insurance Plan (PEEHIP) and the Retirement Systems of Alabama have consumed an ever-increasing sum of state-collected tax dollars; and
WHEREAS, K-12 education in Alabama enrolls 75.67% of all students K-graduate school, yet K-12 education receives only 68.78% of state tax dollars; and
WHEREAS, due to these economic and political conditions and decisions, K-12 education is underfunded in many vital areas such as the Alabama Reading Initiative, the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative, the Distance Education Initiative, the Foundation Program, School Transportation, and many other vital and essential programs; and
WHEREAS, unless the funding of K-12 education in Alabama takes a new direction and focus, these conditions are likely to continue to occur over and over:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education does recommend to Governor Bob Riley for consideration in his FY 2011 education budget recommendations for the Alabama Legislature the following:
- Fund K-12 education in FY 2011 at least at a level of 70% of the total Education Trust Fund proceeds. The Board further recommends that the Governor consider a Constitutional Amendment to designate that all funding for K-12, postsecondary, and higher education be allocated on a per-student enrolled formula.
- Freeze the PEEHIP and Retirement allocations from the Education Trust Fund for FY 2011 at the FY 2010 level and request the Boards of Directors of the two programs to make the necessary adjustments to balance revenues and expenditures.
- Support an amendment to current law to increase individual payroll deductions for retirement from 5% of gross pay to 6% of gross pay effective for all education employees beginning July 1, 2010.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That these actions will enable the FY 2011 Education Budget to deflect further cuts in education programs for K-12 education and enable the Legislature to return to the funding of critical and essential programs in K-12:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education recognizes and supports the need for changes to dismissal with cause of education employees covered by the Alabama Tenure Law and/or the Fair Dismissal Law in order to restore public confidence to a system that is currently flawed.
Done this 12th day of November 2009.