Alabama lawmakers have approved a $310-million education-bond issue, the largest in the state's history. (See Education Week, Sept. 25, 1985.)
Gov. George C. Wallace signed the bill Sept. 20, the last day of a special legislative session. The bill passed by a vote of 28-0 in the Senate and 59-33 in the House.
At least 60 percent of the funds, or $186 million, will go to elementary and secondary schools.
Governor Wallace, the state finance officer, and the state superintendent of education will decide on the allocation of an additional $41.8- million in discretionary monies. The rest of the funds are earmarked for higher education.
The bond issue survived a last-ditch filibuster by black representatives in the House, who were protesting a decision to cut $8 million in funding earmarked for the states' two predominantly black universities. An ongoing federal lawsuit against the state of Alabama claims that funding for higher education in the state has been racially biased.
According to Rex Cheatham, education liaison for Governor Wallace, the Governor has assured the leadership of the two black institutions that "they will receive a fair share of his discretionary money."