Education Funding

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Gov. Bob Riley promised educators Tuesday that he will announce a plan to restructure and put more money into education within the next couple of weeks.

He told Alabama's school superintendents NOT to plan to lay off teachers for the next school year, which begins in August for most schools.

Riley said he has been meeting night and day for the past two weeks with representatives of numerous interests, including business, teachers, administrators and school boards to come up with a plan to restructure Alabama schools and to fill a projected shortfall of more than $500 million in next year's education and General Fund budgets.

Riley declined to release details of any possible plan, but admitted he is operating under a tight timetable since schools must hire teachers for next year by July.

The governor said he's committed to keeping the number of teachers in the state, not cutting it back.