Quality Education for Alabamians The funding for education in Alabama is tied directly to our workforce. The majority of the Education Appropriations Trust Fund budget is directly funded by income and sales taxes. In Alabama, jobs create workers. Workers pay taxes. Those taxes cover the cost education for our children and grandchildren. Given Alabama’s economic downturn, high unemployment, and the fact that education funding is so directly related to jobs, we now have a deficiency in the state Education Appropriations Trust Fund. After the 2010 budget, the State of Alabama will no longer have federal stimulus dollars to assist budget deficiencies. If the economy does not drastically improve, difficult decisions will have to be made by the Governor and the Legislature in order to fund education. For the past eight years, have served on the House Education Appropriations Committee, working to write and re-write balanced budgets, so I understand the unique challenges we face. As Governor, I will strive to turn around Alabama’s economic and education situation. In order for Alabama to get back on track, there are five educational reforms that must take place, as quickly as possible. Alabama must: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Improve the budget Reign in the cost of healthcare and education Eliminate wasteful programs Make local school systems a priority Modify the management of our students
First, Alabama must budget differently. After studying the intricacies of the budgeting process, I believe we have gone in the wrong direction. A more efficient and effective way to plan the state’s educational finances is called the “15 Year Rolling Average” budget method. This technique develops the following year’s budget by multiplying the present year’s budget by the average increase or decrease over the last 15 years. If Alabama had adopted this method 15 years ago, it is highly unlikely that our educational system would be facing proration. The second educational reform initiative concerns healthcare. Alabama must get healthcare costs under control. Of the $5.4 billion Education Appropriations Trust Fund Budget, $1 billion is needed to cover healthcare, and this figure increases at a rate of approximately 8% per year. Jobs and Opportunity for Alabama http://www.BentleyMeansBusiness.com/ 23
Promises made by Robert Bentley.