WHEREAS, the Alabama State Board of Education holds seriously its duties of working with the State Superintendent of Education 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 740,567.46 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, never before has K-12 funding been so critical to enable Alabama students in gaining a competitive edge with their counterparts from other states; and
WHEREAS, the future of Alabama depends on increasing the academic rigor that will provide “real-world skills” such as teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving, and plain perseverance:
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 FY2015 proposed budget:
- The FY2015 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 for which to distribute state resources to all Local Education Agencies based on a per-student calculation. We strongly support a budget that distributes all Education Trust Fund (ETF) dollars equally between K-12, Postsecondary, and Higher Education by the same method. In doing so, the state would be in a position to fund all of the required components of the Foundation Program, which has not occurred since FY2008.
- All state appropriations for the 135 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 14th day of November 2013.