Alabama Senate approves education budget

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) —
The Alabama Senate has worked late to approve an education budget that
would spend slightly more on schools next year, expand Alabama's
pre-kindergarten program, and fund a 2 percent raise for K-12 employees.

The
Senate passed the budget 22-11 Tuesday night, with support coming from
Republicans and opposition from Democrats who wanted a bigger raise.

The
budget is based on K-12 employees getting a 2 percent raise, which
would be their first since October 2007. The Senate still must pass a
separate bill to make the raise official.

The nearly $5.8 billion
budget would provide a 3.6 percent increase in spending after several
years of recession-riddled budgets, and it would provide an extra $9.4
million to expand Alabama's voluntary pre-K program for 4-year-olds.

The budget

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