Bentley signs 2016 Education Trust Fund Budget into law

Published 9:02 pm Sunday, June 7, 2015

By Adam Powell | Special to the Advertiser

On Tuesday, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed the nearly $600 billion Education Trust Fund Budget into law, which will provide increases textbooks, classroom supplies and extended access to “high-quality” Pre-K education.

“The FY2016 Education Budget is a significant accomplishment and supports many important programs and initiatives that prepare students for success,” Bentley said in a press release. “The best investment we can make as a state is to invest in our students and their education.”

According to the press release, the education budget will provide for the following funding increases:

• $13 million for textbooks

• $3 million for classroom materials

• $5.2 million for Dual Enrollment programs

• $4.5 million for transportation operations

Further, a $10 million increase will be funneled into the state’s Voluntary Pre-K Program and last week the governor announced more than 200 new grants that will provide over 3,600 four-year-olds in 51 counties access to “high-quality, voluntary Pre-K education.”

“The most important part of a child’s education is a solid foundation at an early age,” Bentley said in the press release. “All children, regardless of where they live, deserve the opportunity to excel.”

Chilton County Schools Superintendent Tommy Glasscock met with state representatives to discuss the budget earlier in the week, but won’t know the full impact the budget will have on Chilton County until a meeting with financial officers Monday.

“I’m just glad we got the budget passed,” Glasscock said. “That kind of surprised me.”

Glassock noted that, despite the increases detailed above, Chilton County will likely suffer cuts in transportation funding.

“That’s definitely got me concerned,” Glasscock said.

Multiple requests for comment on the budget to the governor’s press office, via phone and email, were not returned.