Governor’s Plan for Alabama

September 03, 2003 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Below are highlights of Gov. Bob Riley’s proposed tax, spending, and accountability plan, which goes before the state’s voters in a Sept. 9 referendum. The plan would do the following:


  • Impose criminal penalties on state agency directors who permit “pass through” appropriations, a practice by which an agency is directed by a legislator to spend money on an item not authorized by a line item in the state budget. (The governor recently barred pass-through appropriations by executive order.)
  • Mandate that superintendents be trained and tested in finance, instruction, and school law.
  • Require local school boards to hire chief school financial officers to verify receipts and expenditures.
  • Require the state department of education to monitor the financial performance of school systems and call on them to standardize reporting practices and share financial information.
  • Impose criminal penalties on local school personnel who deliberately fail to provide accurate financial information.
  • End tenure for newly hired school administrators, including assistant principals, financial officers, and instructional supervisors. (Alabama ended tenure for new principals in 2000.)
  • Expedite, and reduce the costs associated with, the dismissal of incompetent teachers.

New Education Spending

  • Increase the number of instructional days from 175 to 180 over the next five years.
  • Provide bonuses to teachers who agree to transfer to underserved geographic and subject-matter areas for a three-year period; provide scholarships to college students who agree to do so for three years once they are licensed.
  • Invest more in professional development to fully implement the Alabama Reading Initiative and the Math, Science, and Technology Initiative.
  • Establish merit-based college scholarships for students to attend two- and four-year postsecondary programs.


  • Increase the sales tax on such items as new and used cars, leased cars, and tobacco products.
  • Add a new sales tax for product installations and repairs, such as replacing an automobile part or installing a new refrigerator.
  • Raise the threshold at which individuals owe income tax. For instance, a worker in a family of four currently must begin paying state income taxes at an income of $4,600. That threshold would increase over several years to about $20,000.
  • Raise the child tax exemption from $300 to more than $2,100 and tie the break to the federal exemption and deduction levels in the future.
  • Increase from 5 percent to 6 percent the income-tax rate for earnings above $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for married couples.
  • Eliminate the deduction of federal income taxes from state income-tax returns.
  • Raise the effective income-tax rate for businesses from 4.2 percent to 6 percent.
  • Increase property taxes on homes, timberland, and farmland (with some protections for smaller farms.)

SOURCE: Office of the Governor


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 31, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education In Their Own Words The Stories That Stuck With Us, 2023 Edition
Our newsroom selected five stories as among the highlights of our work. Here's why.
4 min read
102523 IMSE Reading BS
Adria Malcolm for Education Week