MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Senate has approved a 4% pay increase for teachers and other public school employees as part of a record $7 billion education spending plan.
Senators on Thursday approved the pay raise and education trust fund budget. The bill now moves to the House.
Sen. Arthur Orr, chairman of the budget committee, said the raise was a start to trying to address a teacher shortage in the state.
The education budget, which is fueled by sales and income taxes, hit a record high after finally rebounding past pre-recession levels of 2008.
The budget provides additional money for prekindergarten, broadband, English language education and to reduce classroom size in grades four through six.
A senator who voted no criticized charter school funding and the lack of a raise for retirees.