Education Poll

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A majority of Alabamians responding in a recent statewide poll said they are against a plan to cut education spending by almost $200 million and eliminating funding for 3400 teaching positions across the state.

The poll by the Mobile Register and the University of South Alabama found that 72 percent of those interviewed believe Alabama should invest more in education. In September, 68 percent of voters rejected a plan by Governor Bob Riley to raise taxes to provide more money for schools and other government services.

State Board of Education officials have recommended the budget cuts for next year. The board meets in Montgomery Thursday to vote on a spending plan to propose to the governor and the Alabama Legislature.

Deputy state schools superintendent Joe Morton said it appears there will be no way to avoid teacher layoffs during the budget crisis.

In a different survey last week by the Alabama Education Association, 61 percent said instead of firing teachers and cutting services they want legislators and the governor to develop a new funding plan for them to vote on.

The poll of 407 Alabama residents was conducted four days last week. It has a margin of error of five percentage points.