Gov. Ivey signed Education Trust fund, general fund

Published 6:05 am Saturday, June 3, 2023

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By Travis Gupton

The Selma Times-Journal

Governor Kay Ivey signed the state’s budgets on Thursday.

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Included in the package is the General Fund and the Education Trust Fund, both with supplementals. 

“I am proud to officially put my signature on yet another historic investment in our students, teachers and schools,” Ivey said in a release. “Alabama is serious about changing the trajectory of student outcomes, and our steady progress in the classroom and this record-setting education budget prove that to be the Gospel Truth.

“We are expanding our award-winning Pre-K program into some of our highest poverty areas. We are supporting the implementation of the Critical Literacy and Numeracy Acts. We are, once again, increasing teacher pay, giving us even more of a competitive edge to recruit and retain the educators of today and tomorrow. We are investing in our two-year and four-year colleges. And thanks to the work of the Alabama Legislature, we continue making these wise investments while paying down debts, adding to our savings and returning the working people of Alabama’s money back to them through tax rebates. I have said it before, and I will say it again: Our students’ education is the single-most important issue facing our state, and Alabamians can rest assured that it will continue to be my top priority.”

In Dallas County, the signing of the Education Trust Fund could not come at a better time. Both school districts begin their summer learning programs and  prepare for the fall.

Selma City Council President Billy Young said that any time education is being helped he supports it.

“ As a strong proponent of education and as a local elected official, I am very pleased that Governor Ivey and the Legislature provided much-needed funding through the Education Trust

Fund. Educating the People of Alabama is vital to the success of our State and all of our citizens,” Young said. “On a local level, we are painfully aware of the disadvantages our students experience. Therefore, any financial assistance provided to our Students and Educators is needed and very much appreciated.

“I am also extremely grateful for the hard work of our local Legislative delegation State Senator Rob Stewart and Representative Prince Chestnut. Along with myself, both Stewart and Chestnut are products of public education and know that a properly funded school system can increase the chances of student success. It is my hope that the Governor and Legislature will continue to invest in our children, which I believe will result in a better Selma and a better Alabama.”

The Education Trust Fund included a 2% pay raise for teachers in the state of Alabama. Selma City Schools Superintendent Dr. Zickeyous Byrd said that this is a great thing that will help the school district get teachers.

“ I’m certainly thankful that due to recording breaking additional revenues in the state of Alabama that more than $500 million was added to the Education Trust Fund (ETF) which will allow for more scholars in the state of Alabama to receive additional resources,” Byrd said.  “In a time of trying to recover from so many losses from COVID-19 and the devastating tornado in Selma some months ago, we can definitely use all the help we can get. I’m excited that our hard-working employees will receive a 2% pay raise as a result.

I look forward to finding out how these additional allocations will help our scholars here at home.”

Ivey also discussed on the General Fund and its Supplemental.

“As I said in my State of State address, we can be proud of the fact that during my time as governor, we have not once used the word proration, nor have we spent beyond our means. I am equally proud to announce today that with my signature on the 2024 General Fund that positive trend will continue,” Ivey said. “Alabama’s record-setting $3 billion General Fund is generational money which makes possible greater investments in vital public services while also significantly paying down debt to reduce the impact of future economic downturns.

“This landmark budget is historic for Alabama. It will positively affect many agency operations from State Troopers protecting our highways to mental health professionals. It expands support for their important missions while rewarding their hard work with a much-needed pay raise. This budget’s robust commitment to our citizens is equally matched by our legislators’ strong bipartisanship to swiftly deliver it to my desk. I am pleased to sign it into law.”

Young said that the General Fund will affect Selma and Dallas County.

“I am appreciative of the inclusion of funds designated for our area to help our community which was devastated by a tornado earlier this year,” Young said.  “The rebuild of our dear city will take years and require additional funding from our great State for years to come. I can attest that immediately after the tornado many members of the Legislature came to Selma including the Speaker of the House. We are so grateful for their support during our time of need.”