School & District Management

Ala. Board Suggests Teachers Pay More for Benefits

By The Associated Press — November 13, 2009 1 min read

Teachers and other education employees could have to pay more for their retirement and health insurance benefits under a financial plan proposed Thursday by the Alabama Board of Education.

The board voted unanimously for what state Superintendent of Education Joe Morton called “a plan of survival” after two years of budget cuts and what looks like more lean funding for the 2010-2011 school year.

The board recommended to the governor that:

• the percentage of the state education budget that goes for K-12 schools be increased by slightly more than 1 percentage point.

• education employees start paying 6 percent of their salary toward retirement rather than 5 percent.

• the state education budget provide no increase for health insurance and retirement benefits for the next school year.

The plan would force the health insurance program to cut benefits or raise the amount that educators pay. Any changes would require the approval of the governor and the Legislature.

Gov. Bob Riley’s press secretary, Todd Stacy, said the governor was reviewing the proposals and would comment later.

Mary Bruce Ogles, assistant executive secretary at the Alabama Education Association, said requiring educators to pay more for retirement and possibly health insurance would amount to a pay cut for teachers, who didn’t receive a cost-of-living raise this year or last year.

Morton said educators have been paying $2 per month for their state’s health insurance coverage since 1986, far less than what workers pay in other public and private health insurance plans.

Morton said maintaining benefits at their current level will require an extra $238 million for health insurance in the 2010-2011 school year and $57 million more for retirement.

With the recession shrinking Alabama’s tax collections, that kind of money won’t be available, he said. Morton said the only way to maintain benefits without charging educators more is to cut classroom programs.

“We are in dire straits,” he said.

When the board next meets on Dec. 10 it will discuss whether to ask the Legislature to increase the time necessary for retirement from 25 years to 30 years for education employees hired after July 1, 2010.

Ogles said AEA opposes that change because any savings would be many years in the future.

Related Tags:

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events

School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure
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.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Branding your district matters. This webinar will provide you with practical tips and strategies to elevate your brand from three veteran professionals, each of whom has been directly responsible for building their own district’s brand.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
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.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Nearly two-thirds of U.S. school districts are using hybrid learning right now with varying degrees of success. Students and teachers are getting restless and frustrated with online learning, making curriculum engagement difficult and disjointed. While
Content provided by Samsung

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Principal-Elementary School
San Antonio, TX, US
Southwest Independent School District
Principal-Elementary School
San Antonio, TX, US
Southwest Independent School District
Principal-Elementary School
San Antonio, TX, US
Southwest Independent School District
Special Education Teacher
Chicago, Illinois
JCFS Chicago

Read Next

School & District Management Student Mental Health and Learning Loss Continue to Worry Principals
Months into the pandemic, elementary principals say they still want training in crucial areas to help students who are struggling.
3 min read
Student sitting alone with empty chairs around her.
Maria Casinos/iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion A Road Map for Education Research in a Crisis
Here are five basic principles for a responsible and timely research agenda during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Robin J. Lake
4 min read
Two opposing sides reaching out to work together
J.R. Bee for Education Week
School & District Management 1,000 Students, No Social Distancing, and a Fight to Keep the Virus Out
A principal describes the "nightmare" job of keeping more than 1,000 people safe in the fast-moving pandemic.
4 min read
Dixie Rae Garrison, principal of West Jordan Middle School, in West Jordan, Utah.
Dixie Rae Garrison, principal of West Jordan Middle School in West Jordan, Utah, would have preferred a hybrid schedule and other social distancing measures.
Courtesy of Dixie Rae Garrison
School & District Management A School Leader Who Calls Her Own Shots on Battling the Coronavirus
A charter school founder uses her autonomy to move swiftly on everything from classroom shutdowns to remote schooling.
3 min read
Nigena Livingston, founder and head of School at the URBAN ACT Academy in Indianapolis, Ind.
Nigena Livingston, founder and head of school at the URBAN ACT Academy in Indianapolis, makes swift decisions in responding to the threat of COVID-19 in her school community.
Courtesy of Nigena Livingston