WHEREAS, the Alabama State Board of Education is most concerned about the inadequate financial resources available to support the minimally required personnel and instructional support programs necessary to allow every Alabama student to achieve academic success; and
WHEREAS, the projected increase in employer matching retirement benefits and health insurance costs for K-12 education exceed estimated Education Trust Fund revenues, especially if the FY 2005 Education Budget is built upon the actual revenues of the 2003 Fiscal Year; and
WHEREAS, the one identified method available other than raising new revenues to meet the cost of Fringe Benefits (retirement and health insurance) is to reduce the number of state-funded teacher units and educational support personnel (both administrative and non-certificated); and
WHEREAS, in addition to the possibility of personnel costs being an option facing the Alabama Legislature as it adopts a balanced Education Budget for FY 2005, there still exists a very critical shortage of funds in programs such as textbooks, professional development, library enhancement, technology, the high school graduation examination remediation program (High Hopes), the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards program, the Alabama Reading Initiative, and Operations and Maintenance while funding Teacher Materials and Supplies at $525 per state teacher unit:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education endorses a budget proposal to forward to Governor Bob Riley for FY 2005 that does not reduce the number of state-funded teacher units and also is a budget proposal that funds increases for the following items as identified in order to give the teachers and foundation support units enough resources to have an opportunity to be successful:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education further recommends that should any new revenues be approved during the 2004 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature or during any Special Session of the Alabama Legislature that a top priority be the state allocation of teacher and instructional support units under the same funding formula as exists in the FY 2004 Education Budget.