Riley Accountability

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The Alabama House gave final passage Tuesday to a bill that guarantees public schools can rehire teachers next year even if the governor's package of tax bills is defeated in the Legislature or by state voters.

The bill, which passed the House on a 77-14 vote, had been pushed by teachers' lobbyist Paul Hubbert so that teachers would know going into the next school year that they would have jobs.

The sponsor of the teacher jobs bill, Representative Richard Lindsey of Centre said the bill was needed to assure that schools could open smoothly in August.

But several representatives expressed concern about where the money will come from to rehire teachers if the governor's tax package fails.

Lindsey said a funding source had not been determined, but said the state may be getting additional federal education funds because of the No Child Left Behind Act.

The bill guaranteeing teacher jobs now goes to Gov. Riley for his signature. It is not tied to the rest of his legislative package.