Alabama lawmakers approve teacher pay raises

 

Longtime Alabama teachers will soon be rewarded for their tenure, as the state recently approved a record $8.3 million education budget including pay raises of up to 21% for teachers.

Teachers with less than nine years of experience will see a 4% raise, and teachers with nine or more years will get 5% to 21%, based on how long they’ve been teaching.

Holt High School teacher Traci Elmore has been a teacher for 32 years. She said she’s looking forward to the increase in pay because every little bit helps.

“It seems like it has taken an eternity for the teachers of Alabama to finally be recognized for the hard work and dedication that we put into our job,” Elmore said. “What’s more important is that the teachers who enjoy their profession and enjoy their job now have an incentive to stay in the field of education.”

Cresmont Elementary School teacher Lynn Corkren has been teaching for 24 years and said she is thrilled about the upcoming raise because it will keep her teaching even longer.

“In the past few years, teachers had to teach with face masks on, deal with COVID, remote learning, face to face instruction, new technology and digital programs. Teachers are asked to do a lot of things just besides teaching, we deal with the emotional part of the child,” Corkren said. “This pay raise is needed just because of all the work we put into a days’ time, and I think it makes teachers feel valued to the Alabama state educational system and also to the students of Alabama.”

Not only will this impact the teachers financially, but this will also impact the students who have grown close to teachers at their schools.

“I think for students especially in a small school setting such as Holt, we are able to develop relationships with these kids the moment they step into the building,” Elmore said. “As a ninth-grader they see us, we see them, we get to know them, they get to know us, and by the time they graduate we have spent four years with them, and I think that’s critical for getting our students to buy into the plans that schools have.”

The budget bill now goes to Gov. Kay Ivey for her signature.

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